Grass Valley no place for escape

  GRASS VALLEY, Calif.  (Oct. 23, 2008) — With about 4,000 residents, the city of Grass Valley hardly qualifies as a large town, but the bucolic little entity was more than ready to deal with a hold-up escapee yesterday afternoon.

   According to police records, the event began after the U.S. Marshal’s Office notified the Grass Valley Police Department that a federal escapee probably was in that area.

   The escapee was identified as 40-year old Fred Hickler, who was also wanted on a San Bernardino warrant alleging a strong-arm robbery committed shortly after he fled from the Riverside lockup.

   Police quickly responded to the Holiday Lodge Motel on East Main Street at about 1:30 p.m., where Hickler’s alleged girlfriend, 34-year old Elaine J. Robinson of 11668 Blackberry Place, Nevada City was taken into custody on suspicion of violation of parole.

   But while Robinson was being arrested, Hickler reportedly fled from their room, and entered a second room of the hotel where he then refused to surrender, despite on-going negotiations with the Nevada County Sheriffs Office’s Critical Incident Negotiation Team.

    Finally, just before 9 p.m. that night, an unarmed Hickler surrendered to police without further incident.

   Nevada County Sheriffs Captain Ron Smith said Hickler was quickly transported to that county’s jail, where he was transferred to U.S. Marshals, who placed him in the Sacramento County Jail awaiting transportation back to the Riverside facility.

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