Rohnert Park man interrupts suspected car thief, gets shot with pellet gun
Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
A Rohnert Park man was shot repeatedly with a pellet gun after he confronted a suspected thief in his parked car early Friday morning, the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department said.
Matthew Phipps, 29, had puncture wounds in his lip and biceps, as well as at least one broken tooth, when he was taken to a local hospital in the wake of the 2:17 a.m. altercation, public safety Lt. Jeff Taylor said.
Police said Phipps’ dog awakened him and his wife to an intruder in the driveway of their Santa Barbara Drive home.
When they looked out the window, they saw a man, later identified as James Jensen, 18, inside the car, authorities said.
When confronted, Jensen struck Phipps in the face with the pellet gun and then began shooting as Phipps tried to wrestle the weapon away, police said.
An off-duty, reserve Sebastopol police officer came upon the incident and wrested the gun from Jensen just as a patrolling public safety officer drove up and took him into custody.
Property taken from Phipps’ vehicle and possibly others in the neighborhood was found lying in front of the house and elsewhere down the sidewalk, police said.
Authorities were investigating to determine whether any other cars were burglarized, Taylor said.
Jensen, a Rohnert Park resident, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, prowling, petty theft, possession of an illegal knife and being a minor in possession of alcohol, police said.
He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail and was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, jail personnel said.
Phipps was taken to a local hospital for treatment. An update on his condition was not available.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or email@example.com.