Mazama residents were frightened by an afternoon of mayhem Wednesday (Oct. 20), when a reportedly naked man in a truck spent about two hours evading police while throwing items out of the windows, hitting other drivers, a dog and a cow and just missing a person installing new gas pumps in front of the Mazama store.
Nickolas G. Schultz, 26, was booked into the Okanogan County Jail at 12:45 a.m. Oct. 21 and later charged in Okanogan County Superior Court with disorderly conduct, second-degree malicious mischief, three charges of hit and run, second-degree criminal trespass and second-degree assault. The assault and malicious mischief charges are class B and class C felonies, respectively.
He was also initially booked on charges of littering and indecent exposure, but wasn’t formally charged with those offenses.
Schultz is being held in the Okanogan County Jail on $30,000 bail, and his next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.
According to court documents, an Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office deputy first responded just before 3 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a naked man sitting in a truck who appeared to be unconscious near Wolf Creek Road outside of Winthrop. The truck matched the description of one involved in a threat complaint earlier in the day in Mazama, the deputy reported.
A sheriff’s deputy, Winthrop deputy marshal and a Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officer responded and found the black 2006 Dodge truck with a homemade camper in the bed parked in the road.
The deputy recognized Schultz from past contacts, according to court documents. Schultz exited the vehicle, got on his knees and put his hands behind him. At the time, the deputy reported officers didn’t believe they had probable cause to arrest him. However, he reported that Schultz became uncooperative, swore and refused to move the truck.
At that point, officers planned to arrest Schultz on suspicion of disorderly conduct, but Schultz allegedly left the scene before the arrest could be made.
The officers headed toward Mazama, where the previous complaint regarding Schultz originated. While on the way, they saw “swerving marks” in the dirt on the side of the road, and came across items lying in the road, including an axe, a chainsaw and a partial case of Coca-Cola.
Over the next hour, law enforcement officers were on the lookout for Schultz as more reports came in. At 3:45 p.m., deputies received a report of the truck driving erratically westbound on Highway 20, and a few minutes later received a report that the driver had hit a dog, Sheriff Tony Hawley told the Methow Valley News.
A few minutes after that, the truck allegedly hit a cow in the 400 block of Lost River Road. During that general time, Schultz is also accused of intentionally ramming another vehicle and also nearly missed a person in front of the Mazama store, owner Missy LeDuc told the Methow Valley News.
“He was about a foot and a half from the guy who was working on our gas pumps,” LeDuc said. “That was scary, everyone was really freaked out by that. He’s just lucky and we are all lucky there wasn’t more harm.”
At 3:56 p.m. a deputy reported finding Schultz’s truck near the Lost River Airport. Clothing was strewn outside the vehicle and deputies reported hearing yelling from the direction of the runway, Hawley said.
Deputies took the vehicle’s keys, which had been left behind, and also disconnected its battery so Schultz couldn’t get back into the truck and evade them again.
By about 4:40 p.m., deputies caught up with Schultz, who was still naked, and took him into custody.
While in the deputy’s vehicle, Schultz reportedly hit his head repeatedly on the partition, causing himself to bleed, and also allegedly urinated in the vehicle, which had to be taken out of service for deep cleaning. That led to the second-degree malicious mischief charge, Hawley reported.
Schultz was taken to Mid-Valley Hospital before being booked into the Okanogan County Jail.