Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies got a call for service for a suspicious male in the Gualala area. The male would later be identified as suspect Richard Brelo. Responding deputies received information that Brelo entered the Coldwell Banker Realty Office then handed an employee a note before telling them a person would die if they returned to the Gualala Baptist Church. Brelo then departed the realty office and was observed standing along the edge of the roadway brandishing a knife and baton at passing motorists. An off duty Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy was in the area and monitored Brelo until responding deputies arrived on scene. During that time, Brelo threw rocks at the off-duty deputy’s personal vehicle, causing over $400.00 in damage to the vehicle. Upon the arrival of the responding deputies, Brelo was contacted and arrested. Following Brelo’s arrest, he proceeded to make threats to kill the deputies, he attempt to strike a deputy, and also spit on the off-duty deputy.
Further investigation revealed Brelo may have damaged the Gualala Baptist Church during the night and earlier in the day. Deputies developed information indicating that Brelo was responsible for vandalizing the exterior church doors and a window causing in excess of $1800.00 damage..
Brelo was subsequently transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the listed charges with bail set at $20,000.00.