RED BLUFF - A Tehama County mental health counselor was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly pointed a pistol at a Redding freelance writer in a church parking lot.
Red Bluff police said they were dispatched to the North Valley Baptist Church parking lot on David Avenue just after 3 p.m. when Barry Clausen, 67, called 911 to report that Melissa Lynn Jones, 40, had pointed the gun at him and made threats.
"Apparently, Mr. Clausen wanted to meet with her and talk about freelance work he's doing," Red Bluff police Sgt. Kevin Busekist said. "That sparked the confrontation."
Busekist said he didn't know what caused the contention between Clausen and Jones, whom he described as a marriage and family therapist.
He declined to reveal her place of work.
Jones, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, was released Tuesday after posting $10,000 bail. She was given an April 27 arraignment date, said Tehama County sheriff's Capt. Ronald Dodd.
Jones, who lives in Chico, has an unlisted home phone number. She couldn't be reached for comment.
Clausen said the incident left him rattled.
"I didn't sleep much last night," Clausen said Wednesday. "I couldn't stop thinking about looking down the barrel of that gun."
Clausen said Jones is a child counselor who works for the Tehama County mental health department.
Jayme Bottke, assistant executive director of the county Health Services Agency, declined to comment Wednesday, saying the allegations are a personnel matter. She referred questions to Red Bluff police.
Clausen said he has for years been investigating allegations of abuse at the Tehama County juvenile hall.
He said Jones had agreed to be interviewed, and he had followed her to the church parking lot, where the two spoke for about two minutes. Jones refused to answer his questions, he said.
When he returned to his pickup, she approached him from behind, pointed a semiautomatic .45-caliber Glock a foot from his face and threatened to kill him, Clausen told police.
Clausen eventually wrestled the gun away and called 911, he said.
A message left for Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen wasn't returned Wednesday, nor was a message left for the administrator of the juvenile justice center.