Shootout in the dunes: Several campers arrested

November 26, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

GLAMIS — Six people were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in two cases in the Imperial Sand Dunes over the holiday weekend.

In a third case, two people were stabbed — but not seriously injured — in the dunes. No arrests were made in that case.

Five people were booked into the county jail on suspicion of attempted murder after they were reportedly involved in a gun battle that left one man in critical condition in Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley.

As of this morning, Arvel Reeves, 66, of Mesa, Ariz. was in critical condition at a San Diego-area hospital after suffering three gunshot wounds, according to the county Sheriff's Office.


The five arrested were Glenn Howard Baker, 31, of Placentia, George Anthony Falkenstein, 23, of Hesperia, his brother, Timothy Allen Falkenstein, 25, of Orange, Timothy Shawn O'Brien, 22, of Hesperia, and Jay Tennesen Ollestad, 23, of Placentia.

All remained in the county jail this morning with bail set at $100,000.

According to sheriff's Sgt. Pompeyo Tabarez, the five arreted were all in one camp.

Tabarez alleged that one member of that camp drove a quad into a second camp about 100 yards away. That person reportedly drove away on a motorcycle that may have been borrowed from the second camp.

Sheriff's officials said the two camps were not associated and members did not come to the dunes together.

Tabarez said the man who took the motorcycle then walked back to the second camp to pick up the quad, but those in that camp would not let him take the quad until he returned the motorcycle.

That man returned to his own camp, but after a short time, five people from that camp came for the quad around 5 p.m.

An argument erupted and handguns were drawn, Tabarez said.

Sheriff's Investigator Gabe Vela said his office is continuing to investigate how many guns were used. Shots were exchanged from at least two guns. At least two handguns were confiscated.

Reeves, a member of the camp from which the motorcycle was taken, was wounded. No other injuries were reported.

After the shooting, a member of Reeves' group flagged down a U.S. Bureau of Land Management staffer. BLM authorities then arrived along with a group of law enforcement officers patrolling the dunes.

Three of the five men were arrested immediately. A fourth was arrested later that evening.

George Falkenstein, who had fled, turned himself in at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Brawley sheriff's substation.

Vela was unable to say this morning how many of the suspects allegedly used a gun.

In a separate case, a man remained in the county jail this morning after being arrested Thursday on suspicion of attempted murder.

Kjell Stolt, 42, of San Diego, reportedly attempted to run over a BLM ranger, who stopped Stolt for speeding.

When the ranger attempted to approach his vehicle, Stolt allegedly struck the ranger with his vehicle and fled.

He was caught near Gecko Road by other rangers.

The ranger sustained minor injuries.

In a third case, Danny Brown, 23, of Ramona and Ryan Butts, 22, of Julian were stabbed during a large brawl in the dunes in an area known as Competition Hill.

Both Brown and Butts sustained stab wounds to the stomach. Vela said both were treated at Pioneers and released.

Both told investigators they did not know who stabbed them. No arrests were made because the fight had broken up by the time authorities arrived.

>>Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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