CENSUSED To DEATH: Yuba City Woman Gunned Down After Census Worker Confrontation

Posted by BOC Staff | Frank Kuni,Lonnie Patterson,Uncategorized,US Census,Victoria Vasselin,Yuba City PD | Sunday 23 May 2010 2:52 pm

Yuba City, CA–

The Sutter County Coroner’s Office identified the woman shot in the foyer of her Mariners Loop home as Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin, 67, of Yuba City.

Ms. Roger-Vasselin’s companion, Lionel “Lonnie” Patterson, is in the custody of the Yuba City Police.

A female census worker is said to have arrived at the home of the couple to intake their census information when she was told at the door by Mr. Patterson that they would not let her in and they would not be participating in the census.  According to the census worker, who has not been identified, she began arguing with the resident about his requirement to comply when he threatened her with a firearm.

The census worker then called her supervisor and was advised to call police, which she did, at 9:04 PM.

The conflicting reports start there.

The District Attorney states that the census worker was at the home between 9:00 PM and 9:30PM.

The Yuba City Police state that the census worker was there between 7:45 and 8:15PM.

My first question is,  if the police have an accurrate timeline, why would someone that was threatened and in fear of their safety wait almost an hour to report the incident?

Yuba City Police responded to the Vasselin-Patterson home with 5 Officers and were met at the door by Mr. Patterson, allegedly with a gun in his hand.

Officers preformed a “take down” maneuver and while wrestling him to the ground, Vasselin came around the corner with a shotgun pointed in the direction of the officers.  Currently, Patterson is being held on a “lethal weapon” charge; it appears he did not have an actual firearm.   Ms. Vasselin’s shotgun was not loaded.

“A bunch of things I think went wrong,” said Roger-Vasselin’s son, Matt Biscotti. “It was late at night, (my mother) was startled at the door, and I think the police were startled to see her holding some protection.
“It happened real fast, it was dark, and it was all quick. And we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
Biscotti said his mom was still inside when she was hit, and that the gun she was carrying was not loaded.

Census spokesman Sonny Le said door-to-door census workers are instructed to visit homes late in the afternoon, evenings and weekends when most people are home. He said workers are not supposed to be out past sunset. According to the Census 2010

Le said the census worker was upset and took some time to compose herself before calling her supervisor in Fairfield, who in turn contacted Yuba police.

The incident in Yuba City comes on the heels of major domestic concern for the “Open Your Door To Census Workers” campaign.

In Pennsauken, NJ, the sharp eye and maternal sentry alarm of Amy Schmalbach resulted in the capture of a registered sex offender who allegedly has up to 16 aliases.

Frank Kuni, using the alias Jamie  Shepard, came to Schmalbach’s home on May 4th to intake her census information.

Toward the end of the interview, which took place outside on her porch,  Ms. Schmalbach recognized Kuni from her frequent checks of the New Jersey Sex Offender Database.

Schmalbach told Action News, “I looked closely at his face and I realized I recognized this man from the NJ State Police sex offender registry.”

On Friday, the day the incident hit the National news, nearly 2.5 weeks after Kuni was arrested, the Social Security Investigative Unit and Homeland Security Exacted warrants against the census worker.

It would seem too little too late, considering Kuni  was placed in the field PRIOR to the results of an alleged FBI background check.

Kuni was recognized at the Schmalbach residence on May 4, reported to authorities the morning of May 5th, and subsequently arrested the same day.

The Census Officials will only say that Kuni was “removed from his position” in EARLY MAY, aftter an FBI fingerprint check came back alerting  the census bureau.

However, sources inside the census colleague pool  with Kuni have confirmed to blinkoncrime.com that Kuni was arrested AFTER authorities contacted the Census Office and alerted them of his sex offender status.

There are only 2 conclusions to draw from this information.

Either the background checks that Census workers are going through are grossly flawed, OR, they are releasing staff into the field prior to their return.

The investigation is ongoing,  check back to blinkoncrime.com for the latest developments.

Previous blinkoncrime.com coverage

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  1. Word Girl says:

    What a tragedy.

    Census workers are released into the field before the fingerprints are back from the FBI. If ‘bad,’ they then receive a letter telling them they are terminated; their local census office is also notified. I know of one case where a worker received a letter and notified management before they were even aware.

    Unfortunately, this lag time, I believe, is due to manual printing (and many have to be re-done) as well as a lack of time-management to get thousands of people printed and cleared before work begins.

    You might wonder where my creds come from–I’m a fountain of trivia, i realize.
    Today I was fired as a Census Manager due to my complaints of some really bad stuff happening.
    Just thought I’d take time out of my busy life to serve my Government. Obviously, a bad idea

    WG, I had a feeling you had a personal connection, but your always so versed in the casework we follow here it is hard to tell.

    I am horrified to hear that happened to you and suggest you do what I am certain you already have, review Federal whistleblower statutes to see if they apply.

    You are apparently not alone. Malkin has a running series from census workers outlining their own horror stories.

    Let me know if I can help you in any way-

  2. lizzy says:

    Sad story.

    The census concerns have caught my attention this year, as I also have encountered my first overly-aggressive census worker on April 28. It seemed to me that she was under a great deal of stress to entirely finish a given territory by April 30, and we had not been home much.

    I refused to give her any info as we had mailed in the form, and it was after 8 p.m. and I was trying to get my kids to bed. She just wouldn’t go away, and then started calling about an hour later. (We live in a “converted” residence–used to be multi-family and is now single-family–and I think that confused the system.)

    So were the workers under more pressure, or some kind of incentive system this year? Because she wasn’t nice, including to my daughter when she answered the phone the next evening expecting a call from a friend.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the comp package, or length of assignment is at play here.
    What is it? Lastly, if some of these workers are employed long enough, would that qualify them for unemployment benefits in some states also?

  3. MsL says:

    I mainly read and comment only on the Morgan Harrington/Yeardley Love stories from Charlottesville VA. The census stories have caught my attention because of this story which appeared on our local daily paper website, The Daily Progress.


    I don’t know whether or not this link will work. If not, I will post excerpts from the report. There have been no follow-ups posted to this story, not uncommon by the news organizations in our area.

  4. Greg the Mongoose says:

    Women are afraid to open the door.
    Shooting someone is crazy.
    Do not open the door.
    Ask them to come back in the day light with ID.

  5. Word Girl says:

    Thanks, Blink, very much for your support. They got me fair and square in the end (albeit on a technicality). However, I will put up an EEO complaint, as well.

    I had submitted a well-documented brief (that would make all Blinkers proud) to detail the abuse and unconscionable working conditions I encountered with the Census. That bright light prompted a whole lot of cockroach scurrying. They do their best work in the dark. God forbid if they’d recognize three counts of sexual harrassment (none against me) and countless accounts of traumatizing abuse of workers (including myself).

    Lizzy, this is exactly what I was encountering. That poor enumerator was probably threatened and bullied to get her work done–she’d lose her job, etc, etc. Those days you mentioned should have been training days and she should have been with someone else at the door. Likely she went go to your neighbors to get information about you. In no case should Enumerating be done after 8pm.

    If anyone else is in that position–sent in the form and the Census is still asking questions–call your local census office immediately to get the Enumerator (and their Crew Leader) to desist.
    Unfortunately, if you sent in your form and they don’t have record of it yet, they want to do a new one.
    Instead of believing people and letting the system sort it out, it becomes a “ram this down your throat at our convenience” sort of thing.

    Thx Ms. Lal for the article from Charlottesville. And LOL to your news coverage (we can see it, too).

    It might seem sinister and beyond the intelligence of the Census Bureau, but I think they’ve got some stake in reducing work force asap to avoid unemployment claims. Yes, folks, it’s going from bad to worse.

    For example, in the 2000 decennial count, supervisors were instructed to terminate *with cause* if they could, to reduce UI claims. http://www.oig.doc.gov/oig/reports/2000/ESA-Census-IPE-13212-09-2000.pdf Not sure how it’s going to work this time, but my guess is that most Enumerators will not qualify for Unemployment Benefits.

    The whole thing is a freaking boondoggle with our tax dollars. You have to be kidding me.

    At the risk of breaking my own rule, I think when “THE” campaign chanted change, it meant that was all we would end up with in our pockets. Oh well I guess we are better off than Ms. Villers.

  6. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Having been a census supervisor in past census takings I can tell you that no matter how careful the supervision, there are going to be those individuals that do not follow the rules. Some will only create an annoyance while others will create real problems. It totally depends on how the supervisor trains their people. Good training equals good results. A smart supervisor will identify potential trouble makers during training and take steps to make them understand what the rules are and how to comply with them.
    This worker in Yuba City was not following the rules. If the police time line is correct, then she was way out of line.
    Next the police themselves need an investigation. To literally attack a home based on a single allegation with a SWAT type force is insane. This is what gets people killed and unfortunatley this is exactly what happened.
    If I found a group of police outside my home and they began to perform an attack, I would certainly take steps to defend my property as did these people. To shoot a woman in her own home holding an unloaded gun without trying to disarm them is the same a murder in my book and the officer doing the shooting needs to be charged.

    I find it interesting that the DA disagrees with the timeline given by the YCPD. I think this poor woman’s son has it right-I think the officer panicked.

    I should note that whatever was said to YCPD in the first call is critical, this guy never even had a gun.

  7. Al Miller says:

    B, love seeing some politics peek through. Glad I could be a part of it. ;) Obama armed census workers and authorized force by police in gathering of info. That may explain the aggressive nature of census overall and the workers in general. Did anyone else are this piece of news? I need to hunt for it. The lady who came to my house 2 weekends ago was so weird and pushy. I said I had the form and would just send it in. She stepped in with one foot as if to assert herself. I was home with kids at the time and she just have me the creeps for some reason…

  8. Al Miller says:

    B, love seeing some politics peek through. Glad I could be a part of it. Obama armed census workers and authorized force by police in gathering of info. That may explain the aggressive nature of census overall and the workers in general. Did anyone else see this piece of news? I need to go hunt for it. The lady who came to my house 2 weekends ago was so weird and pushy. I said I had the form and would just send it in. She stepped in with one foot as if to assert herself. I was home with kids at the time and she just have me the creeps for some reason…

  9. 21merc says:

    I have never posted here before, but have been reading Blink since she first began. I have to say the door to door needs to stop. Why not just re-mail to places that have not been recorded yet?

    I have had 9 visits now from census takers. They leave the note on the door as I do not answer. I did talk with one when I was going to see a neighbor next door, explained I sent in the form, they could stop coming over, gave my first name and age, and that was it. He was argumentative with me and I was with him. This did nothing. Another census worker came by last Saturday evening, I was sitting on the porch with the neighbor. The census worker stayed in front of my apartment for half an hour, facing the window, trying to look inside! I have plastic covering the window so it was useless, but still! Census worker went to another building, skipping over the neighbor and I watching him, stayed ten minutes there, then got on his bicycle and road past us. He came back Monday after dark and knocked again. I did not answer as I do not answer my door unless someone tells me in advance and announces themselves at the door. I called the local office, had to talk with 5 different people. The only answer I got is they still have to come around, and after you talk with the 1st one, another person comes to be sure they did talk with you, at least 4 more trips. They would not put a stop on my address. They refused. I asked why the guy stood there for half an hour, they said they would like to know that too since they are paying him $18 per hour! (I wish I made that kind of money.) So, no answers, no help, nothing. Just they will keep knocking. Another came last night at 7 pm, left a note again, but all in all, 9 visits now whether I am home or not, and no end in sight.

    Since this is apartments, why don’t they just re-mail as it is college moving time. Even if it were homes, I would not open my door. A dog, knife, gun is not enough. Any one of these people could shove their way in. Or, in the alternative hit one of the crack apartments and get seriously hurt themselves.

    I am angered that this seems to be a huge problem for everyone, lots of government money is being wasted, and no one is listening or coming up with a safer plan for citizens and employees. I hope the visits stop soon, or more reports of harmed people will be cropping up.

    They will be in the field through July.
    Funny you should mention it, I just got off the phone with them, and it seems the regional managers and up are just as peeved as we are.

  10. 21merc says:

    Greg the Mongoose;

    Helpful to ask them census worker to come back at daylight and with I.D., but I will not even make a sound when a stranger knocks. Don’t need them to know a woman leaves there, probably alone. My rule is, call first, tell me when you are coming, knock and say your name. I just think it is safer that way. Thanks for the advice, but I don’t want anyone to answer through the door and get hurt if a few words can spare that.

  11. Keeley says:

    That is so crazy and scary. My boyfriend worked for the census over here and they were strictly forbidden from going to any houses after dusk. I know that at this office they performed an FBI name check prior to hiring and an FBI fingerprint check during training. One woman was held back from going out because her social security number did not match with her name supposedly because she had immigrated and then gotten married or something of the sort. To me that makes it seem like they are on top of the background checks. I do believe they allow workers to begin training (which does not involve contact with the public) before the results of the fingerprint check have come in. Since that guy you are talking about had all those aliases, they would have let him start working after the name he gave did not match anyone in the FBI system but ultimately discovered his true identity only after his fingerprint results were in.

  12. LindaNewYork says:

    I have to say I am glad I neve applied for a census worker job.

    I am unemployed. I was going to apply for a job as a census worker. At the same time I read an article in reference to ‘cutting you off’ so you could not collect unemployemnt. I also, after speaking to some one on a grocery line in Shop Rite, thought twice about it. She said they wanted her to be “too agressive” and she did not feel comfortable with that.

    In this day and age? Knocking on a stranger’s door? Letting a stranger in? I won’t answer my door unless I know who you are (unless you are an eight year old selling cookies, etc.!) And I would never feel comfortable knocking on a stranger’s door. What if that stranger is a rapist? A serial killer?

    I understand the census is important. But is it against the law not to participate? Is the “requirement” a law? Look what this census worker caused..the death of someone who just did not want to partipate. Sad. Very sad.

    (BTW, I mailed ny census in!)

  13. YourMom says:

    This blog is full of lies — the shotgun was loaded, but on safety. Perhaps she was too drunk to figure out the gun was on safety.

    Well to clarify, your not my mom.

    Whether she was drinking or not has nothing to do with a visit from a census workers visit starting this horrible spiral for all involved.

    Unless your prepared to disclose how you could verify whether or not the shotgun was loaded, we will have to take your comment as “in your opinion”.

    I am hearing rumors, which are unverified, that the census worker has ties to the YCPD- care to comment on that?


  14. chitownlady says:

    Great “temp jobs”…..and to think one actually has to be tested for these jobs…why? seems anyone can apply, you pass the test, you get off unemployment and make OBAMA look good for creating jobs…..I can’t imagine why she would have been out at (pm doing the darn CENSUS. I see them around our home standing around a car yacking. 4 times now, standing around yacking all 4 of them and 2 sitting in the car. Sorry but, this Census taker actually had NO SENSE at all. Sorry I had too. Sympathy to the family.

  15. 21merc says:

    Just did a google news search under “census worker” then checked “last month” for narrowing the search. Unbelievable the incidents to both workers and citizens, really frightening. Check it out. I hope some changes are made rapidly.

    I forgot to express sympathy to the family in this story. I cannot imagine the pain and injustice you are feeling. I hope you are able to overcome this as quickly as is humanly possible.

  16. Word Girl says:

    The Regional Managers must be talking a good tune, Blink, cuz they’re yelling at us to produce and to create legions of Census Monsters. The system is critically flawed. I encourage protest but not at the risk of personal safety.

    merc21–glad you finally wrote and I hope you’ll take part in the other forums. Don’t take “no” from the Local Census Office. Tell them you are going to call the police and file harrassment charges. You are being harrassed. They have to stop. (Mind you, they’ll just get the info from neighbors or your landlord or the mail carrier or school bus driver or landscaper…) No more notes, no more visits.

    Keeley– your last sentence is true. It would have taken more time than the Census allowed to discover “his true identity only after his fingerprint results were in.” Exactly the issue.

    I’m glad I’m out, but I’m second-guessing myself. If you poke the Beast, it’s going to strike hard and find any chink in the armour. In my Aquarian zeal to fight for the penalized public and abused Enumerators, I opened myself to the most intense scrutiny. They found a flaw. Fair enough. Ouch, yes.
    Blood money, no.

    Was the stand I took for naught? What will it take for this to change?

  17. Al MIller says:

    Was I right or was I right? (any chance to sneak politics in, love ya BlinK). :) . http://m.thefoxnation.com/quickPage.html?page=22299&content=38833105

    Al- you were right. You were right before I knew you were right.

    Does not make me feel any better at what an egregious debacle this is/was.


  18. Al MIller says:

    I know, Blink. It doesn’t make me feel any better either. But what does make me feel better is attempting to tell people about this and let it get some media traction so people take notice, which, thanks to your site, we are doing.

  19. PookyBear says:

    Blink — I thought I would share the attached — Has this gone too far?

    Census workers can demand access to rented home — snipped
    What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.”



    Back in the day when I rented my home and was single, can you imagine the danger that would present?



  20. Al MIller says:

    Blink! You are going to FREAK when you read this! http://blogs.ajc.com/bob-barr-blog/2010/05/26/census-workers-can-enter-your-apartment-in-your-absence/

    Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence?

    Now think about that- if the goal is to count citizens, what the hell would someone having access to your apartment gain? Will they be rifling through underwear drawers to use that a means to determine gender and ethniticity?

    If the Census was a private sector company the Govt hired, It’s CEO’s would be in shackles by now.

  21. starbucks says:

    Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

    “What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.” If the landlord of such apartment or other leased premises refuses to grant the government worker access to your living quarters, whether you are present or not, the landlord can be fined $500.00.”

    . . . .

    “In fact, some census workers apparently are going even further and demanding — and receiving — private cell phone numbers from landlords in order to call tenants and obtain information from them. Isn’t it great to live in a “free” country?”


  22. 21merc says:

    All right everyone, as Blink has pointed out, no census worker can enter your apartment. That link it to a blog of some sort anyway. They are not supposed to even try to enter or put their foot in the door to block you slamming it when they knock and you open. Just don’t open your door if you do not know who is knocking. Be safe! No stranger, government employed or not, gets a door opened. Okay?

    BTW, I am now up to 12 visits. Think I should just paste a note for “Census Workers”, sent in the form, talked with one of you already, you are now harassing me. Cease and desist.”


  23. Al MIller says:

    Blink, you are exactly right. And the more I thought about it, how creepy that they ask the relationship of people living in the home. This just plays into the fears of me, a “paranoid right wing conspiracy theorist.” I wish it was paranoid. Big brother watching over us, the little people, deciding what’s best for us. If any of you haven’t read “1984″ you should.

    Safety, imo, is not a partisan issue.

  24. Al MIller says:

    Merc and everyone, I get that census workers aren’t “supposed” to enter properties as a best practice. They also aren’t supposed to shoot and kill, throught their Obama-ordered partering with law enforcement, anyone who impedes the census process: that being said, the law permits these things in “certain” situations. B hates politics on here, but that really is the difference party-wise. One side thinks this is great, because it is in the best interest of the government and the little people who need to be herded by the government since the people are incapable. The other side sees laws like this as a slippery slope that leads to further intrusions into privacy and personal liberty. “give me liberty or give me death!”

  25. Carol says:

    Hi all – know this is the wrong thread, but I just read some interesting news on the Tracey Ocasio investigation. They are linking JVH with 6 victims, including Chris George and Jennifer Kesse.

    Imagine being 29 and possibly having made these victims disappear? There is absolutely no rehabilitation for this sociopath.

    Have a safe long weekend.

  26. Al MIller says:

    Murder of 12 year old Kayleah, Caylee, Haleigh, these similar names are freaking me out. I think I need to get some sleep.

  27. KS says:

    Thank you Blink for posting this. I myself found my census papers on my counter, not yet to fill it out. I saw on my local news ” Be prepared, if you have not filled/mailed your census papers” a census rep will be soon knocking on your door. That was enough to make me fill it out and mail it. I mailed it the day after the last day too. I myself won’t open my door to anyone. I don’t care if its a kid holding a basket of kittens. I refuse to open my door to a stranger. I have not had any experiences to date seeing ” census” ppl wandering my street. I myself too, have in my window, next to my front door” No Solicitors” It is there for a reason. Yet people still don’t respect it. I wanted to add this article about a man who was a registered Census taker – He it is said ” to have broken into a home, and brutally beat/raped a disabled 21 yr old woman” – A house that he went to “earlier” for census information collection.
    Link to story: http://www.fox41.com/Global/story.asp?S=12460569
    When people read stuff like this, and possibly do not live in the best of areas, and have issues with ” strangers” standing on their porches .. or that “one person/stranger” keeps coming back multiple times * when you are home. With all attempts of the homeowner to ignore them. It does trigger fear/anger in the homeowner – add a perfect storm such as the story you posted – elderly woman. Anything is possible to happen. Irregardless of this being a census worker – how many stories do we read ” local, national ” that someone posing as ” meter reader/police officer/ Gas man …persuades home owner to open door and once in the home – its/robbery/crime/rape or worse murder”. Elderly people being targeted. That too many elderly people do have ” firearms” in their homes – because they do. Loaded or not. They have them for their protection.
    Data being collected: Which comes to thought – The Grocery stores offer you the ” shopping card” that they swipe for every purchase you make ( data collection with coupons as the trade). The Govt can learn more off that data than any census filled out. Of who/what/finances is of your household. The Govt has data collection on all of us, the census I believe is just another manner for them to control us. I received two letters prior to the census form. The letter said something of the fact, if you do not fill out/return your census – You will be removing much needed funding for your local community – for not submitting your personal information” that the funds are disbursed upon population. I had to laugh. Loans from the tax payors pockets to the State..don’t you mean…. Sorry for my long post. I am glad you put it up -Food for thought. Sometimes when it looks like a duck, acts like a duck its not really a duck.

  28. Word Girl says:

    More census craziness:

    Hawaiian Census taker refuses to leave a cop’s property when asked. He waits for more cops to come to help him get his questionaire filled out. They had a dim view of that.



    That’s a keeper- “dim view of that”, I love it.

  29. riecard says:

    Even a cop wouldn’t pull a gun on 5 cops ! That broad was ignorant ! And the fact that they were brandishing lethal weapons to an unarmed women alone by herself just goes to show what nut bags these people are. All they had to do was shut the door on her and call the cops if they felt scared of her.

    It’s not like the census worker was putting them in any danger at all. I am glad she’s dead. They would have done the same thing to somebody else for some piddly reason. The world is a safer place with out her.
    The whole thing was just a snowball of stupid reactions that stemmed from the first two clods that answered the door. If that dumb fat old bag didn’t own a gun she would be alive today. She wont be throwing her weight around anymore and thats a good thing!

    What would be wrong with someone so ignorant to say “Im glad she is dead”. What if it were your Mother or Grandmother? You clearly have an axe to grind here, what would that be?

    “throwing her weight around?” what was your beef with her exactly?

  30. Word Girl says:

    Two Census managers faked 10k questionaires when on deadline. They were reported by “whistleblowers.”

    ‘Wonder if the whistlers lost their jobs over trivial technicalities while doing a stellar job?

    Unh-huh…this ain’t the end of it, Folks. Oh, and don’t get me started!
    –(0 0)–


  31. 21merc says:

    Don’t know where to put this or what to do. The census worker that stayed in front of my apartment for too long was just back out there, riding his bike down the street. I know, I am paranoid, but I have had problems in the past that were major.

    Sorry Prez O, it is not wipe it clean 1950′s, it is the scary age, keep all away. Wipe it clean with technology.

    Is there not some program that can figure it all out from utility bills? Send the paper, not the people. It would be cheaper and safer.

    Very scared, but not as much as before. Make a change that is up to date please!

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