Daylight doesn't dissuade 'Werewolf of Larson Park'
Sheriff's deputies don't know whether it was something the man ate, something he drank or maybe something he smoked.
Whatever it was, a 24-year-old Boyes Hot Springs resident was discovered growling and barking in and around the area of Larson Park, in broad daylight, without the benefit of a full moon.
It all started at about 8:10 a.m. on Monday, July 11, when a man who was playing soccer at Larson Park went to use one of the portable toilets. He opened a toilet door only to find a fully-dressed man inside the stall. The soccer player closed the door and walked back to his game but before long, the man in the portable potty came out with his fists clenched, his body rigid - and he was growling. The portable potty man then started chasing the soccer player around the tennis courts, eventually catching up with him and pushing him to the ground.
During the fall, the soccer player lost some belongings from his pocket, items his pursuer scooped up and then left the park.
When deputies from the Sheriff's Office responded, they took a report and, from past experience, had a good idea who they were looking for.
A second call soon came in from a person on Lichtenberg Avenue who reported a man was growling and barking at him there. Deputies quickly located the growler and attempted to place him under arrest, but he became combative before eventually being cuffed and placed in the squad car.
The growling man was identified as Manuel Nunez, 24, who was charged with felony robbery and resisting arrest. He was booked into the county jail but there was no indication in the police report whether or not his cell came with a fire hydrant.
In other incidents reported to local law enforcement
Friday, July 1:
8:18 p.m. - Unclear on the concept? A 52-year-old Boyes Hot Springs woman, who said she was returning home from an AA meeting, was pulled over by Sonoma police because she had stopped her BMW 740i unnecessarily in the middle of West Napa Street. Police, who said the driver was impeding traffic, pulled her over at the 7-Eleven store, discovered that she looked drunk and asked if she had been drinking. The woman acknowledge consuming "two beers for lunch," which didn't quite account for the .27 blood alcohol level she registered on a preliminary breath test. She was arrested for a DUI and a probation violation.
Sunday, July 3:
1:31 p.m. - If you steal it, don't ride it. A Sonoma resident reported that someone stole his bicycle after he parked it in front of McDonalds at 18988 Sonoma Highway. The bicycle owner had gone inside for a meal, but hadn't locked the $300 bicycle. The victim later saw a suspect riding his bike and deputies tracked the would-be thief and bike to Maxwell Farms Regional Park. The 19-year-old bike bandit was charged with petty theft and received a gratis ride to the county jail.
Tuesday, July 5:
10:30 p.m. - Too close for comfort? Sheriff's deputies were sent to a residence in the 18000 block of Comstock Avenue on a report of a domestic violence incident. The physical confrontation, they discovered, was between a man and his former girlfriend, who had three children, had lived together for 19 years, and were still living in the same house. The 40-year-old man was arrested on charges of felony making threats, misdemeanor domestic battery, public intoxication and a probation violation.
Thursday, July 7:
12:24 p.m. - Be careful what you say on the phone. A 22-year-old Kenwood woman, who was party to a dispute over the custody status of a child, and reportedly made death threats to another woman, was questioned by Sheriff's deputies. After listening to three threatening voicemails, deputies arrested Andrea Caudillo, 22, on charges of making threats with intent to terrorize.
5:10 p.m. - Don't mess with MAGNET. While patrolling the area around Larson Park, the Sheriff's MAGNET anti-gang squad made contact with three males after they noticed one of them was walking a dog with no leash or collar. One of the three, a 27-year-old Santa Rosa resident, was arrested on charges of giving false identification to a peace officer, concealing or destroying evidence and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
6:50 p.m. - Magnetized minors. MAGNET officers, still in Larson Park, noticed six minors who were in the immediate vicinity of some alcohol. Four were cited for being minors in possession of alcohol and one was cited for a probation violation.
Friday, July 8:
6 p.m. - Frequent flyer roosts in Plaza. A 32-year-old transient, recently released from the county jail with probation terms that prohibited the consumption of alcohol and banned him from the Plaza, managed to violate both conditions when police found him in the Plaza with alcohol on his breath. The man refused to blow into a PASS device to test his blood alcohol level and he showered the arresting officer with a deluge of obscenities before being cited for a parole violation at the police station and being released.
9:08 p.m. - Bad place to park a stolen car. Sheriff's deputies were sent to the 10800 block of Slattery Road in Kenwood on a report of a suspicious vehicle in front of a vacant residence. When they arrived, the deputies discovered that the white Chevy van parked in front of the empty house had been stolen from Rohnert Park. The driver, Alva Espinoza, 30, of Santa Rosa, was arrested on charges of felony theft of a vehicle, felony possession of stolen property, possession of a hypodermic needle and possession of drug paraphernalia. Deputies said they would also ask the district attorney to file additional charges of felony vandalism for the damage the woman caused while trying to enter the property.
Saturday, July 9:
10:09 p.m. - Resist arrest, go to jail. Deputies responded to the report of a disturbance between a man and a woman in the 17000 block of Highway 12. When they arrived on the scene, deputies could hear the argument before they saw it. After intervening, they began to pat down the man to ensure he had no weapon when the 19-year-old resisted and was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and a probation violation.
Sunday, July 10:
2:21 a.m. - Don't bring coke to jail. Deputies spotted an erratic motorist in the vicinity of West Agua Caliente Road and Cedar Avenue, and made a DUI arrest. During the booking process at the county jail, the woman was found to be in possession of .2 of a gram of cocaine. So, in addition to DUI, Miceala Hernandez-Cruz, 24, of Santa Rosa, was also charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, felony bringing a controlled substance into a correction facility and providing false identification to an officer.
3:21 a.m. - Birthday gone bad. Sonoma police responded to a home in the 800 block of Broadway after a neighbor reported he was awakened by loud yelling and someone shouting, "F*** with me, I will kill, I will kill."
When police arrived they could hear yelling from inside the home. An officer had to knock three times before the door was opened by a 30-year-old man with blood on his hands and a torn shirt. When police asked what was going on the man answered, "I was f***ing vacuuming." Police could see things broken in the apartment, concluded it was a case of domestic violence and told the man to put his hands behind his back. But when they attempted to put handcuffs on him, he spun around and resisted, so an officer put the man into a headlock and took him to the ground.
The man's 28-year-old girlfriend, who was also in the apartment, told officers it was her boyfriend's birthday, he had gotten drunk, but that there had been no physical violence and she was unhurt. The man was arrested for resisting a police officer and booked into the county jail.
10:51 p.m. - Persistent peeper. A female resident of Joaquin Drive returned home with her boyfriend to find a man peering into her window. The man started to run, the 28-year-old boyfriend grabbed him, the man struggled, broke free and raced off into the night. The 20-year-old woman told police it was the fourth time in six months she has seen the same man peeping into her windows. He was described as Hispanic, wearing a white shirt with white pants and having a thick Spanish accent.
Monday, July 11:
7:41 a.m. - Gritty grandma. Sonoma police were called to a home in the 600 block of Zinnia Court where the father of a 2-year-old boy was trying to pick up his son under the terms of a custody order. The home belonged to the boy's maternal grandmother, who refused to turn the boy over to his father until her daughter - the boy's mother - arrived. Police told the 73-year-old grandmother to turn over the boy, the grandmother said she would discuss it with the mother when she arrived, police responded that there was nothing to discuss and if she did not turn over the child she would be placed under arrest. She refused, she was arrested and placed in a patrol car, whereupon the mother arrived. As police were effecting transfer of the child to the father, the mother went to the patrol car, opened the door and released her mother. The grandmother and her daughter were then charged with refusing an order, the father departed with his son and some modicum of order was restored to the home.
4:33 p.m. - Dude, where's my bike? Police recovered an abandoned bicycle left in the 500 block of First Street East since July 4. The silver, 24-speed boy's bike, worth approximately $400, can be reclaimed at the Sonoma Police Department if the owner can accurately describe the make and model.
Thursday, July 14:
12:13 p.m. - Leave it and lose it. A resident of the 300 block of West Spain Street told police she left her purse overnight in her locked, 2001 Lexus, but that she may have left a window partially open. The next morning the purse was gone, along with a pair of Prada sunglasses, her iPhone, various forms of identification and her credit cards, which had already been used at various gas stations and restaurants. She valued her loss at $1,300.