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Man Arrested After Argument Over Cigarettes Escalates Into Violence

Two men were assaulted by a younger man in Manton after a conflict that arose from an accusation of stolen cigarettes, according to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. Sunday evening 59-year-old Mark Goss said his neighbor at the Manton trailer park, 36-year-old Jeremy Maurer, had accused him of stealing cigarettes and during the ensuing argument Goss was struck in the head with a bottle. He was covered in blood from a large laceration on his head. A friend of Goss, 56-year-old Michael Whitlock, says he heard of the attack and went to help his friend, arriving in time to see Maurer driving away. Whitlock says he pursued Maurer on Manton Road and Wilson Hill Road and tried to block him with his pickup, but Maurer reportedly rammed the back of the pickup. When Maurer again tried to drive away and was blocked, he reportedly struck the side of Whitlock’s pickup, causing it to spin out. Whitlock says he suffered back pain from the impact. As deputies were investigating and taking statements, Maurer called the sheriff’s office and asked to speak to a deputy. His version of the story apparently didn’t match that of the witnesses or the physical evidence and he was booked into jail for assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run.