One bike, one shotgun, 7 counts
There are times when a crime, or a series of crimes, crosses so far over the threshold of common sense, rational judgment or clear thinking that it falls into the one-word category suggesting a blind alley in the process of evolution. The word is “Darwin,” it can be used as both a noun and a verb, and it appears to apply to a Dec. 23 case involving a bicyclist who failed to obey a stop sign at Fifth Street West and Andrieux while in view of a Sonoma police officer.
It was about 4:55 p.m. when the officer made a routine traffic stop and might have simply issued a warning but for the fact that the man riding the bicycle had a long narrow object wrapped in a garbage bag and taped to his handlebars.
Asked what was in the bag, the man explained it was a shotgun, and that immediately changed the equation. The officer had the rider dismount and conducted a pat-down search that yielded four Lorazepam pills, a meth pipe and a small amount of methamphetamine.
Compounding the legal consequences for the cyclist was the fact that he was a convicted felon and there was a bench warrant out for his arrest.
Convicted felons are generally not allowed to own firearms. But the cyclist demurred, explaining that the 12-guage, pump-action Mossberg shotgun belonged to his girlfriend’s father and he was simply taking it to be cleaned.
The officer promptly contacted the girlfriend, who said the gun was not her father’s and, furthermore, she reportedly claimed, her boyfriend had stolen it from a barn at the Sangiacomo Family Vineyards.
Police were thus faced with the following circumstances:
• A convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
• A felon convicted of a drug charge in possession of a firearm.
• A person in possession of stolen property (the shotgun).
• A person wanted on a bench warrant.
• A person in felony possession of a controlled substance.
• A person in possession of a narcotic controlled substance.
• A person in possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.
Thirty-eight year-old David Yount did not provide police with a plausible explanation as to why he was riding his bike with the shotgun taped to it, but they suspect he was planning to sell it.
He was charged with the seven offenses listed above and was booked into the Sonoma County jail.
In other incidents reported recently to Valley law enforcement:
Wednesday, Dec. 19:
12:30 a.m. – Not so mellow on Xanax. Sheriff’s deputies were sent to a residence in the 400 block of Fourth Street East after a winery employee allegedly made threats about the winery management to another employee. During a search of the suspect, deputies found prescription medication – the sedative Xanax, a widely abused, schedule IV controlled substance – that didn’t belong to him. The 20-year-old Napa resident was arrested on charges of felony possession of medication without a prescription and he was also placed on a 5150 (mental health) hold.
Friday, Dec. 21:
11 p.m. – Pre-Christmas spousal abuse. Deputies were sent to the 18000 block of Sierra Drive on the report of a domestic disturbance. The husband and wife had been engaged in a verbal dispute that turned physical when the man pushed his wife. During the altercation, the husband also had contact with one of the minor children in the house. The 40-year-old Springs resident was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery on a spouse and misdemeanor child endangerment.
Saturday, Dec. 22:
4:56 p.m. – Missing silverware. A resident in the 1500 block of East Napa Street reported that sometime between Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, he noticed several pieces of silverware had gone missing. The resident had last seen the missing pieces about a month ago. There was no forced entry into the residence and no dollar estimate of the missing silverware.
9 p.m. – Spousal and child abuse. Deputies were sent to a residence in the 100 block of Siesta Way to investigate a report of suspected child abuse. When deputies interviewed the cohabitating couple, they were told of a domestic dispute that turned physical. Information also emerged about possible child abuse by the man on his girlfriend’s children. They arrested the 27-year-old Petaluma resident on charges of felony cruelty to a child, misdemeanor spousal abuse, misdemeanor preventing a victim from calling 9-1-1 and a felony probation violation.
Sunday, Dec. 23:
9:09 a.m. – B&E but no theft. Sometime between 2:30 and 9 a.m., a burglar alarm went off in a restaurant in the 13000 block of Arnold Drive. Since it was a stormy night, the owner apparently decided not to call the Sheriff’s Office. When the owner arrived that morning, the side door had been forced open but apparently nothing had been taken.
Monday, Dec. 24:
9:30 p.m. – Christmas in jail. It was not the merriest Christmas eve for a Sonoma man following an incident the night before when his estranged wife called the Sheriff’s Office to complain that her husband, over the span of a couple of hours, had made threats toward her and toward their children.
When deputies went to the man’s residence on Fifth Street East, there was no answer at the door. They proceeded to get an arrest warrant signed by a judge and went back to the man’s residence at 2:20 a.m. where again there was no response to their knocks.
The deputies therefore forced entry into the home and took the 45-year-old man into custody on charges of making terrorist threats. The deputies also arranged for an emergency protective order for the wife that forbade the husband from having any contact with her or their children.
But at 9:30 p.m., the man was re-arrested on two counts of disobeying the EPO after he twice called his wife asking her to bail him out because he didn’t want to spend Christmas in jail.