US Rescuers robbed at gunpoint trying to aid distressed hiker

04:17  11 july  2017
04:17  11 july  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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Authorities closed the trail after the robbery and airlifted Brandenburg and three other backpackers trying to hike the 2,650-mile (4,265-kilometer) route from Mexico to Canada on the Officer who killed Castile to be paid ,500 in buyout. Rescuers robbed at gunpoint trying to aid distressed hiker .

A section of the popular trail running from Mexico to Canada remained closed Monday as Kern County SWAT team members joined deputies to search for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker .

This July 8, 2017 photo provided by Charles Brandenburg shows a Kern County SWAT officer being lowered to help Brandenburg and three hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Tehachapi, Calif. The hikers were airlifted to safety after a search and rescue team that was hiking to bring Brandenburg water was robbed at gunpoint by two men. Authorities said an operation to find the culprits was underway Monday, July 10, 2017, in the Piute Mountains about 85 miles north of Los Angeles. (Charles Brandenburg via AP)© The Associated Press This July 8, 2017 photo provided by Charles Brandenburg shows a Kern County SWAT officer being lowered to help Brandenburg and three hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail near Tehachapi, Calif. The hikers were airlifted to safety after a search and rescue team that was hiking to bring Brandenburg water was robbed at gunpoint by two men. Authorities said an operation to find the culprits was underway Monday, July 10, 2017, in the Piute Mountains about 85 miles north of Los Angeles. (Charles Brandenburg via AP)

LOS ANGELES — Add armed robbery to the threats facing hikers this year on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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The hikers were airlifted to safety after a search and rescue team that was hiking to bring Brandenburg water was robbed at gunpoint by two men. closed Monday as Kern County SWAT team members joined deputies to search for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker .

A section of the popular trail running from Mexico to Canada remained closed Monday as Kern County SWAT team members joined deputies to search for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker .

A section of the popular trail running from Mexico to Canada remained closed Monday as Kern County SWAT team members joined deputies to search for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker.

The incident Saturday in the remote Piute Mountains about 85 miles (137 kilometers) north of Los Angeles occurred after hiker Charles Brandenburg became dehydrated in scorching heat and activated a rescue device that allowed him to send text messages to authorities.

Hikers trying to complete the 2,650-mile (4,265-kilometer) trail have encountered several challenges from an exceptionally wet winter that left a persistent snowpack and has made for arduous plodding and presented several hazards. Several hikers have been injured, and others have reported close calls scaling icy passes and fording raging rivers.

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Hiker Charles Brandenburg says he was dehydrated when he sought help. Authorities: 3-year-old killed for drinking milk from jug. Rescuers robbed at gunpoint trying to aid distressed hiker .

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California sheriff's deputies are searching for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker on a popular trail. Kern County Sgt.

Brandenburg had left the trail for three weeks in June so the snowpack would melt more before he arrived in the rugged high Sierra Nevada. However, the delay meant he was hiking through extreme desert heat in the past week and with diminishing options for water along the way.

"I needed water really bad," Brandenburg said. "I undercut it. It was a mistake on my part."

After hiking through heat as high as 110 degrees (43 Celsius), he became extremely dehydrated Friday and began dry heaving and cramping.

He awoke at 4 a.m. Saturday to beat the heat, but only had about a cup of water left and was nine miles short of his next water stop. He only got a few miles before he called for help.

Four volunteers with the Kern County Search and Rescue team set out on foot to bring Brandenburg water and became separated, Sgt. Zack Bittle said. One pair turned down the wrong trail, where they encountered the robbers who stole their radios.

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Updated: Monday, July 10 2017 4:39 PM EDT2017-07-10 20:39:38 GMT. Authorities in California are searching for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker on a popular trail.More >>.

Authorities in California are searching for two armed men who robbed rescuers trying to aid a distressed hiker on a popular trail. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Add armed robbery to the threats facing hikers this year on the Pacific Crest Trail.

The rescuers were unharmed, but they were followed by the gunmen as they hiked back toward the Pacific Crest Trail, Bittle said. Eventually, the two men ran off.

It's extremely rare for rescuers to be assaulted, but it's not unheard of. Last year, a volunteer rescuer searching for a missing hiker was shot and wounded near the South Yuba River in Northern California.

While Brandenburg waited for help to arrive, other hikers showed up and gave him some water and waited with him.

What he expected would take a couple hours turned into about a 12-hour ordeal as he learned by text message about the robbery and was told to stay put until a helicopter could airlift him and the others to safety.

Brandenburg, 55, of Mendocino, said one man hid in the sparse forest while they waited for help. But he and two others weren't sure how seriously to take the warning until the helicopter arrived and lowered a SWAT officer in camouflage to the ground.

"Then we knew it was real," he said. "It was really a trip. It was like a movie."

In addition to searching for the armed men, deputies were trying to determine Monday if the trail could be reopened.

Brandenburg decided to move to higher ground, hoping to hitch a ride to Kennedy Meadows in the Southern Sierra to resume his trek.

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