MORAGA -- Authorities have suspended their search for a hidden pot farm they think gunmen were protecting when they opened fire on a parks officer Monday night, the East Bay Regional Park District police said Tuesday.
Park police Capt. Mark Ruppenthal cited the need for more planning and commitments of outside help before they scour the rugged landscape south of Moraga and Canyon.
"We need to be able to scout the area," Ruppenthal told media members at Rancho Laguna Park, a gateway to the fields and hills that extend south to the Upper San Leandro Reservoir. "You're talking about a large wooded area to search."
Ruppenthal acknowledged the people who shot at his officer with assault rifles probably left the area after eluding an intense manhunt Monday night that involved several police agencies and helicopters. He added that the authorities' main objective now is to shut down the marijuana-growing operation that sparked the gunfire.
Ok, maybe they realize that there are still several weeks until harvest, and therefore there is no rush to get in right now. Convenient excuse.
Their failure to act is really evidence of how increasingly underfunded government agencies are finding themselves increasingly unable to do their basic job functions adequately. Park rangers don't mow the lawns. They're supposed to prevent crime, like illegal marijuana farms.
People shot at a park ranger with automatic weapons, and the park police are not going in after them or their illegal operation, whatever it may have been. Maybe they'll go in closer to harvest, maybe they won't.
I just remember the never-ending line of cop cars racing to Oakland from Contra Costa County desperately wanting to get in some stick time on protestors (who were all kids, none of whom fired any weapon at any cop) the night of the Johannes Mehserle sham verdict. Interesting that those same tough guys are all too scared to hike through the woods (with the backup of an armored truck and a helicopter) to bust a multi-thousand (at least) dollar drug operation....priorities I guess.... :-/