Booze and fireworks keep cops busy on 4th
While the Fourth of July is a time for demonstrating exceptional expressions of patriotism, it is also a time for consuming exceptional quantities of alcohol. At least that's what police logs indicate for this year's Sonoma Fourth, during which the event logs for the Sonoma Police Department reveal some 30 incidents involving alcohol, fireworks, suspicious persons, disturbances - or all of the above.
The day began at 1:30 a.m. with an incident that may have had nothing to do with the Fourth, but involved a 21-year-old Springs resident hungry for a McDonald's hamburger who was banging his fist on the drive-through window, demanding service after the fast-food eatery had closed.
Employees told the man they were closed; the man kept insisting he wanted a hamburger. The police intervened, determined he was both drunk and on probation requiring he not drink.
He was charged with public intoxication and violating his probation and was released to the custody of his father.
At 11:45 a.m., two Auburn women who appeared to be sober, tripped on the sidewalk outside Three Dog Bakery and fell through the store's front window. One woman cut the back of her head but both were otherwise uninjured.
Things were quiet until 1:45 p.m. when police cited a 20-year-old in the Plaza for being a minor in possession of alcohol. Then, at 2:09 p.m., police received a report about a man in the Plaza harassing women. They found the man with a can of 40-ounce beer, which was not in itself illegal, but a subsequent breath test revealed blood alcohol levels of from .22 to .26 and he happened to be on probation with a no-alcohol clause.
The man was placed in a patrol car for booking at the county jail but quickly became combative. So he was returned to the police station where he was placed in maximum restraints - involving wrist, waist and ankle chains - returned to the patrol car and transported to the jail. A 20-year-old minor in the arrestee's company was cited for possession of alcohol.
Next, three people were spotted drinking in Depot Park at 2:30 p.m., two were minors trying to shield from view cans of Coors Lite, both of whom were cited, relieved of their alcohol and ordered to clean up their trash.
At 2:54 p.m., a 17-year-old who reeked of alcohol and marijuana was found behind the Barracks about to urinate on the side of the building, and was told to move along.
After a couple of suspicious person reports and a fireworks complaint, police encountered one of the town's more legendary - and persistent - "frequent flyers" with a beer in his hand at about 3:30 p.m.. The man wasn't drunk, but if the past is prologue, there was an excellent chance he soon would be, and since drinking any alcohol was prohibited by the terms of his probation, imposed upon his very recent release from jail, police chose not to tempt fate. They cited him for a probation violation and returned him to the familiar confines of the county jail.
Minutes later a minor was cited for possession of alcohol and at about 4:50 someone - not identified in the police log - was arrested for illegal fireworks.
Fireworks complaints and suspicious persons reports punctuated the evening until 7:30 p.m. when a 25-year-old man was found passed out on the sidewalk in the 600 block of West Spain Street. It took police several attempts to wake him to the point of unintelligible mumbling. A records check revealed three overlapping probations for alcohol violations. He was charged with being drunk in public and violating probation.
For the next three hours, police received nine more complaints and reports about fireworks and public disturbances, but none resulted in an arrest or citation. Finally, at 11:22 p.m., police issued a citation to a minor in the Plaza for possession of alcohol.
As the night of the fourth passed into the morning of the fifth, police received a report at 12:03 a.m. about a domestic dispute in the 300 block of Mitchell Way. When police arrived they were met by a 43-year-old woman who said her husband of 17 years arrived home drunk and continued to drink. Fearing a fight might erupt between her husband and another family member who had not yet arrived, the woman tried to lock the front door.
A struggle ensued and the woman charged that her husband hit her.
When police asked the man what happened, he responded that what his wife said was probably right. He was arrested for spousal battery.
And, finally, at 1:33 a.m., police discovered that someone had broken two windows on the west side of the Barracks, triggering the alarm.
A short distance to the north, meanwhile, Sheriff's deputies at the Valley substation, investigated nine reports of illegal fireworks in the Springs.