On May 23, 2018, at about 6 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call from a distressed female stating she was being held against her will. The line was disconnected and dispatchers’ attempts to reconnect with the female were unsuccessful.
As dispatchers worked to determine the location of this distress call, the Emergency Communications Center received a call from a State Parks officer advising he was flagged down by a female screaming for help from a vehicle in the area of Patrick’s Point Drive in Trinidad. The vehicle fled from the officer in excess of 100 miles per hour.
Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area to attempt to locate the vehicle. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) was called to assist. At about 7:40 p.m., officers with the CHP located and stopped the vehicle on the 400 block of 6th Ave. in Westhaven. The driver of the vehicle, 35-year old John Luther Leslie of Eureka, was detained.
Upon further investigation, deputies learned that Leslie was in a dating relationship with the female victim and had assaulted her several days prior to this incident. In the early evening hours of May 23, Leslie forced the victim to leave their Eureka residence with him and began to drive northbound on Highway 101. Leslie made several threats towards the victim’s life and assaulted her multiple times as they traveled north. During this time, Leslie impeded the victim’s attempts to call law enforcement.
John Leslie was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the following charges: kidnapping, false imprisonment, domestic violence, attempted murder, damaging a wireless device to prevent calling law enforcement for assistance, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, threats to commit a crime, intimidating/threatening a witness and torture. His bail is set at $500,000 per California law.
Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.