Far-Right Leaders Terrorize Far-Left Man: ‘We’ll burn you alive in your tiny little trailer.’

Militia member Jesse Lane outside Steven King’s mobile home in the spring of 2023. Photo source: Steven King YouTube video screen grab.

More than a year ago 56-year-old Steven King contacted A News Cafe about an incident that featured Carlos Zapata and Jesse Lane. Both men are militia members.

King described how the men’s pickup revved loudly outside his modest Redding camper before they placed their hands on the small RV and began roughly shaking and rocking it, all the while laughing and yelling threats to King, who was trapped inside.

King said they were armed, and said, among other things, “We’ll burn you alive in your tiny little trailer.”

Redding resident Steven King says he’s lost count of how many times far-right Shasta County notables like Zapata and Lane have converged upon his mobile home park to threaten and harass him.

King said although that specific incident wasn’t the first time various men and militia members had appeared at the mobile home park specifically to terrorize him, that particular time King had witnesses, including his landlady, and some neighbors, all of whom he was sure would be willing to go on the record to tell about not just that night, but other encounters.

But when the day arrived for this reporter and an ANC photographer to visit King’s trailer park for interviews, King cancelled. He said he was afraid that the men would make good on their threats and not just possibly hurt him, but the mobile home park witnesses, too, who happen to be his friends.

So the men’s terrifying, unwelcome visits continued with more frequency.

The most recent disturbing visit was Sat., Sept. 9. This time the perpetrator was Richard Gallardo, best known for being fired from CalFire for brandishing a weapon a work, for authoring the board majority’s toothless, grand-standing Second Amendment resolution, and for his failed attempted mass citizens’ arrest during a board of supervisors meeting.

Richard Gallardo is led from the board chambers by deputies after he attempted a citizens arrest

It would be days before King would learn from a neighbor what happened before Gallardo and his accomplice successfully reached King’s camper that night.

“He heard someone pounding on an RV door so loud he looked out the door to see Richard and the red-hat kid pounding on another neighbor’s door,” King said.

“They had the wrong RV. I didn’t hear it; probably TV up too loud with the roof AC running. Then they came to my door.”

The glare from a pair of flashlights pierce the darkness of Steven King’s camper. Richard Gallardo is left of his accomplice with a red hat. Screen grab from Steven King’s video.

When bright lights flooded King’s darkened trailer, he heard a voice he immediately recognized as Richard Gallardo. King grabbed his phone and approached his screen door. King said that before he could start recording, he heard the voice he recognized as Gallardo’s say, “dead man”.

On King’s recording a voice that is distinctly Gallardo’s says, ” … We’ll come back, you understand?”

Richard Gallardo shines a bright flashlight into Steven King’s home as Gallardo yells at King and warns they’ll return. Photo source: Video screen grab.

An enraged King let loose with a barrage of blistering expletives.

Richard Gallardo shines his flashlight into Steven King’s trailer while yelling threats on Sept. 9.

Below is an edited version, with names redacted of those who weren’t there that night, but whom King mentioned. The recording picks up a winded King chasing Gallardo and his partner. The departing men and their bobbing flashlights retreated to a white pickup in which they fled the property.

Warning: Graphic language.

Why Steven King?

Selfie photo by Steven King.

Steven King’s political beliefs are perhaps as far left as Gallardo, Zapata and Lane’s are right.

King acknowledges he can be a nuisance. He knows he’s unpopular with many people. For years he’s flooded conservative KCNR radio programs’ chat rooms with taunts and profanities. He places rude phone calls and often cuts loose with curse words. He pokes fun at local alt-right personalities. He’s renowned for filling untold numbers of recipients’ email inboxes with videos, memes, quotes and political theories and podcasts. His recipients include everyone from top law enforcement officials to elected leaders and journalists.

Some of the tamer words his critics use to describe King include nut job, whack job, crazy, a piece of shit, a horrible human being and a pain in the ass.

Full disclosure, A News Cafe has blocked King from the comments section numerous times, and he often returns briefly, only to eventually be banned again for pushing beyond the limits of civility and online decorum.

But King is like a broken clock; sometimes right twice a day. Occasionally King’s lengthy emails yield valid tips and accurate predictions. Often his messages, albeit salty and roughly delivered, are sometimes rational, informational and factual.

It would be an understatement to say the north state’s ultra-conservative leaders despise King, but the feeling is mutual.

Even so, King’s enemies have escalated their hatred of him and taken it to a new level. King said his enemies have falsely accused him of everything from making bombs to being a pedophile. He said they’ve intentionally tied him to two other local Steven Kings – neither of whom have King’s middle name (which he doesn’t want disclosed) — each of whom have criminal records. He said Jesse Lane messaged King and ordered him to stop contacting Lane’s daughter, an accusation King says is absolutely baseless. King recalled how once, a Redding Police Department officer questioned King about something he’d not done, wrongly accused allegedly by Shasta County Supervisor Chair Patrick Jones.

The wrongful accusations were one thing. But the uptick in visits to his home by Zapata, Lane, Gallardo, and others has been a terrifying game-changer for King.

Yes, King reported this incident and others to law enforcement, which is what happened on Sept. 9. But when under pressure, and upset, King’s default means of communication includes profuse profanity, sometimes laced with suspicions and accusations, compounded by hearing impairment, which begets shouting. The result is that sometimes King ends up being ignored by some of the very people whose protection and advocacy he so desperately needs.

For example, A News Cafe received an audio clip of King’s Sept. 9 911 call to the Redding Police Department on the night Gallardo showed up at King’s camper. On the recording the dispatcher can be heard patiently trying multiple times to extract from King his name, his address and the reason for his call. King can be heard repeatedly asking for the dispatcher’s name (Tim) and his badge number. Each time the dispatcher complies and replies, only to be asked again by King who said he didn’t hear what the dispatcher said. Tim remained on the line with King for several minutes as the conversation looped between the dispatcher continuing his attempt to ascertain pertinent details, while King delivered bits and pieces of information, some of which were requested.

Although that call was dropped when another emergency call came in, an RPD officer called King back, but that call was unsuccessful because King continued to yell at the officer. So RPD didn’t show up that night.

Most recently, King was in the news because of his outburst at a Sept. 12 Shasta County Board of Supervisors’ meeting that caused Jones to call (again) for a recess as King was escorted from the board chambers.

To most people, King’s booming, scattered words made little sense. But to those aware of Gallardo’s visit to King’s home three days earlier, they were relevant.

Private security guards escort Steven King from the Sept. 12 Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting as ANC reporter George Winship films the incident. Screen grab from Nathan Pinkney video.

In the video, among the questions King asks Jones were, “What Steven King are you talking about? … Who gave them my address? … Carlos and Jesse came to my house with guns after I called Terry Rapoza …”

King continued, and said he wanted to ask Jones about his lies about King.

“Dick Gallardo knows about it,” King yells. “You guys are going to prison!”

As the guards ushered King from the chambers, King yelled a list of those he claimed will be imprisoned.

“You guys fucked with the wrong dude!”

Extremist gaslighting 101

In Steven King, the extremist cowards have discovered a seemingly unlimited gold-mine of bullying opportunities. Without correction or legal consequences, they can repeatedly gang up on an emotionally fragile man whenever the whim strikes to vent frustrations or exert their machismo over someone who lives alone in a trailer, someone without an obvious support system. They can come back for seconds and more any time they want.

These gutless guys often come in the dead of night to carry out their acts of verbal violence against King and physical violence against his tiny trailer as they literally shake his home while he’s inside.

Later, they’re so proud that they even boast about their violent escapades, as they did on a Red, White and Blueprint podcast.

“He always backtracks,” said Zapata after one of the show’s guests said King apologized for previous comments.

“Especially if you show up at his house,” said a smirking Woody Clenenden, Cottonwood Militia leader.

“Yeah, we might have paid him a visit,” said a smiling Zapata.

The men laughed.


Night after night, King lives with the fear of the unknown. Will the men return, and if so, how many next time? Will they follow through with their death threats, like the one expressed in this text message from Carlos Zapata:

“Consider yourself dead.”

A News Cafe confirmed that the text’s phone number belonged to Carlos Zapata before redacting the last four digits.

Will they burn his tiny trailer to the ground down in the middle of the night as he sleeps, and then drive off in white pickups and claim ignorance if anything dire befalls Steven King?

Consequences on the horizon

The Redding Police Department has a copy of Steven King’s video of Gallardo’s visit, as well as the Red, White and Blueprint podcast, and Zapata’s death threat.

The week following Gallardo’s visit to King’s home, King shared some good news. He said an RPD officer spoke with King at length, first on the phone, and then in person for about an hour.

“He’s looking at opening a criminal investigation on Gallardo, and maybe more people,” King said, adding that he may also file a restraining order.

Meanwhile, according to Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller, from now on, King’s address will be flagged for mandatory response. No more frustrating conversations. Instead, if RPD gets a call from Steven King, officers will just show up.

Perhaps King’s prediction about some men going to prison will prove correct after all.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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