Darr and Garner

Mackenzie Darr (left) and Blaze Garner (right)

Two people were arrested and another was cited Wednesday morning in connection with a pistol-brandishing incident that took place near Jerry Whitehead Field in Tuolumne town.

At 7:36 a.m. Wednesday, a Tuolumne parks and recreation maintenance worker reported someone making threats with a handgun in the area of Pine Street, according to sheriff’s incident logs.

In a press release, a Tuolumne County sheriff’s spokesperson said the victim noticed a broken-down car next to Jerry Whitehead Field, a block from the Tuolumne parks and recreation district office on Pine Street.

The victim went to look closer at the car, and a man walked up behind the victim, called the victim names, and showed the grip of a pistol in his waistband, Deputy Niccoli Sandelin with the Sheriff’s Office said.

Witnesses told law enforcement there were other people in separate vehicles there, and some of them were trying to tow the car away.

Deputies arrived and ordered three people to get out of their vehicles.

They were identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Blaze Gage Garner of Tuolumne, Mackenzie Stephen Darr, of Sonora, and Shantel France, of Tuolumne, all 25 years old. Deputies searched all three and each of their vehicles.

Garner was allegedly in possession of a replica 1911 handgun, unspecified drugs, and drug paraphernalia, and was suspected of being the one who made the threats against the victim, Sandelin said. 

Garner was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Darr was allegedly in possession of a loaded .38 caliber handgun. The serial number on the firearm had been destroyed. The Sheriff’s Office identified Darr as a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.

Darr was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, and possession of a firearm without an identification mark.

Jail records showed Garner’s bail was listed as $25,000, while Darr was held without bail.

France was released from the crime scene after being issued a citation for possession of unspecified drugs and drug paraphernalia, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Sandelin said deputies maintained composure and professionalism during the incident, which he described as dangerous and stressful. Sandelin also said Sheriff’s Office personnel are grateful for the outcome of the incident, which did not escalate to gunfire or other violence.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.net or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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