One man was arrested and faces weapons charges in connection with an incident on Friday, Sept. 4 in downtown Oakdale that snarled holiday traffic.
Oakdale Police officers arrested the armed man, identified as Gordon Paul Newnam, 55, after he fled a motor home that had been reported as driving recklessly along Albers Road on the way in to the city limits.
The case triggered road closures downtown and brought a response from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department along with the local police. Though it was the Friday of a ‘getaway’ holiday weekend for Labor Day, motorists unexpectedly found themselves taking a detour on to South Third Avenue if they were eastbound; westbound travelers had to turn on to North Yosemite.
The incident began just after 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, as officers responded to multiple reports of a reckless RV driver running red lights and approaching the downtown area. The RV was located illegally parked in the area of the busy intersection of F Street and Yosemite Avenue. According to police, as officers approached, they found a child, approximately 12 years old, who appeared disoriented, next to the RV. Witnesses provided a description of a man they said was carrying a gun in the area walking away from the RV.
Responding officers found the armed man a short distance away from the parked RV, and took him into custody. Additional information was relayed to officers on scene that there was possibly another man armed with a gun inside the RV. Oakdale Police and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s units – along with a K9 officer – surrounded the RV and attempted to confirm the information regarding the armed subject inside the RV, before eventually going inside and determining the vehicle was empty. An additional firearm, however, was recovered from inside the RV.
Newnam was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail on $25,000 bail, facing felony counts of criminal storage of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. A court date of Sept. 10 was set for Newnam. There were no injuries as a result of the incident.
Police noted that the child was determined to be Newnam’s son and he was taken into protective custody. The incident scene was cleared and the roadway opened back up to through traffic around noon on Friday.