Crimes of the week
Published: Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:36 p.m.
(Editors note: Call it what you will — the stage of the moon, something in the water — but from time to time, something seems to get into people and create a string of off-the-wall behavior. This was one of those weeks. These are four of the wackiest items from the week's police blotter.)
Drunk driver nearly hits police officer
On Sunday morning, at approximately 2:17 a.m., an officer was following up on a case on Trellis Lane when he observed a van racing down the road.
The officer, who was standing beside his car, attempted to slow the driver down by blinking his flashlight at him. The driver, 26-year-old Paul Hankerson of Petaluma, then started driving toward the officer, who was forced to jump off the road and out of Hankerson's path to avoid being hit, police say.
The officer pursued Hankerson, caught up to him shortly after and arrested him for DUI.
Busted for driving and firing gun while drunk
Police received a report Saturday night from a driver in his vehicle on Caulfield Lane at St. Francis Drive claiming that someone was following him in a tan Chevrolet pickup truck.
When the driver reached Caulfield Lane and Payran Street, he reported hearing gunshots coming from the Chevy, but couldn't describe the driver or identify the license plate number to police.
At 10:23 p.m., a few blocks away at St. Francis Drive and Ramona Lane, an officer in the area found a driver in a blue Chevy pickup truck driving erratically. Police said the driver was extremely intoxicated.
After pulling the blue Chevrolet over, the driver, 24-year-old Nicholas G. Bisel of Petaluma, refused to submit to a chemical test and was arrested for DUI.
A search of his vehicle revealed an empty gun case and an unloaded shotgun.
Bisel was arrested and taken to county jail.
Medical marijuana user takes out three cars
Police responded to a vehicle crash early Monday morning on Magnolia Avenue and Elm Drive.
Tyler Elliot of Petaluma, 19, told officers who arrived on scene that he believed people with shotguns and rifles were standing on the roof of his car while he was driving. In an effort to shake them off, Elliot told police that he swerved back and forth and wound up colliding with three parked cars in the process.
Police found no evidence of any armed persons in the area. Elliot — who has had his medical marijuana prescription card since September of 2011 — admitted to smoking marijuana shortly before the incident occurred, but passed a field sobriety test.
Ironically, the accident occurred at approximately 4:20 a.m. He was found at fault for the accident but was not issued a citation.
Lt. Tim Lyons said that the police department has sent an urgent order to the Department of Motor Vehicles for Elliot to be tested for his driving capabilities.
Man crashes camper into drive-thru
On Monday evening, at about 7 p.m., a man drove his camper into the drive-thru structure at the Jack in the Box on East Washington Street.
A witness told police that he had warned the suspect, Robert A. Davis, 51, of Petaluma, that the vehicle would be too tall to make it through.
But Davis reportedly ignored the witness and collided with the building, causing what police described as moderate damage.
The man fled on foot, leaving his injured girlfriend in the passenger seat. The woman complained of neck and back injuries.
An officer found the man not far away and took him into custody.
Davis has three outstanding warrants, including one for a stolen vehicle, and was driving on a suspended license, police said.
He was arrested for felony hit and run and outstanding warrants.
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