YUBA CITY (CBS13) – One of the top police officers in Sutter County is behind bars tonight on child abuse charges.
Yuba city police arrested Sutter sheriff’s Captain Lewis McElfresh, Jr. on Tuesday afternoon. Police say the victim is a female teenage family member.
We learned of the arrest just hours ago, and tonight, detectives are still doing interviews.
McElfresh went from running the Sutter County Jail to sitting behind bars himself next to some of the very suspects he helped arrest.
“My concern is too many parents wanting to facilitate alcohol parties,” said McElresh during an interview with CBS13 in May.
Now he’s the subject of a child abuse investigation.
“Our investigators did look into the allegation and subsequently made the arrest at the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department,” said Yuba City Police Department spokesperson Ofc. Shawna Pavey.
Police took the report Monday. By Tuesday, McElfresh was facing charges.
Authorities released few details, echoing something McElfresh told us in 2011: “If I give you the specifics, it can compromise what we’re doing.”
A woman who answered the door at his last-known address in Yuba City said she just bought the place a week ago.
Neighbors say he’s married with a daughter, but kept to himself.
“He was pretty much all business, but nice, you know? He always said hello,” said Judy, a former neighbor.
According to his bio, Captain McElfresh is a military veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
He was hired by the sheriff’s office more than two decades ago, and today is one of its highest-ranking members.
McElfresh’s bio also says he spends his free time with his daughter. Police would not say what relationship he has with the alleged victim, confirming only the teen girl — over the age of 14 — Is a relative.
We’re told by police the victim is OK and did not require hospitalization.
It will be up to the Sutter County sheriff whether to keep McElfresh at the county jail or transfer him elsewhere. He is being held on $5 million bail.