County sheriffs and Oceano Dunes Ranger Tony Villareal arrested two men from the Central Valley early Monday morning for allegedly raiding the sandy campsite of three local teenagers. Steven Douglas Garrett Jr., 20, of Visalia, was charged with robbery, and Russell Macomber, 30, of Porterville, was charged with robbery and assault. Both suspects remain in custody, and the teensâ€™ names are not being released.
Garrett and Macomber, who apparently just met that night, reportedly approached the teenagers, spoke to them briefly, and offered them alcohol. After the boys declined the refreshments, the two men walked away, only to return demanding valuables. Macomber socked one of the boys in the face after he resisted, Villareal says, and when another boy stepped in the way, Macomber struck him in the chest.
The unhappy campers then walked back to a friendâ€™s trailer at a nearby mobile home park and called the police. Macomber and Garrett were apprehended separately at the Oceano campground and arrested shortly before 7 a.m. Villareal speculates that the victims and the suspects were probably both involved in some kind of theft from neighboring campsites early that night.