It had all the makings for a perfect storm – alcohol, drugs and a loaded gun. But Sonoma Valley Sheriff’s deputies made sure the situation didn’t blow out of control.
At about 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, someone made a 9-1-1 call to report that a man was waving a gun in a threatening manner at the El Verano Inn, 705 Laurel Ave.
When deputies arrived on the scene, someone pointed out a man who was getting into a taxi as the gun-waving suspect. The man, Kenneth Sherman, 27, of Sonoma, was kept in the cab until back-up arrived.
After getting Sherman, who was reportedly intoxicated, out of the cab, deputies found the loaded .38 revolver in his waistband. A further search of the cab found a cigarette wrapper containing methamphetamine on the seat Sherman had just vacated.
Sherman was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of a controlled substance while armed, felony carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and misdemeanor exhibiting a firearm.
Instead of a cab ride home, Sherman got a ride to the county jail in a squad car.
In other incidents reported recently to Valley law enforcement:
Saturday, Nov. 16:
7:36 p.m. – DUI turns into two pounds of pot. After pulling a motorist over for suspected drunken driving in the area of Highway 12 and Arnold Drive, a deputy found more than just an intoxicated driver. The motorist at first claimed he didn’t have any identification and gave the deputy a name that later turned out to belong to someone else. Then, when the suspect got out of the car, the deputy saw some drug paraphernalia and started searching the vehicle. The deputy discovered an estimated two pounds of processed marijuana and evidence to show that the man may have been selling the grass. When the deputy established the man’s correct identity, he found the motorist had a felony warrant for a probation violation. The motorist, Kyle Chapin, 29, of Novato, was charged with felony false personation, felony possession of marijuana for sale, felony transportation of marijuana for sale, a felony warrant for a probation violation and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Chapin was transported to the county jail.
Sunday, Nov. 17:
6 p.m. – Vodka, pot, meth, jail. While on foot patrol in the vicinity of First Avenue, a deputy came into contact with an individual on foot who voluntarily admitted to being on probation – three counts of probation to be exact. As part of the terms of his probation, James Cloud, 30, a transient, was subject to search and seizure. During a search, the deputy found a bottle of vodka, some marijuana and a substance the deputy suspected was methamphetamine. Cloud was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and a probation violation, and was transported to the county jail.
Monday, Nov. 18:
12:53 p.m. – 14 chickens for a flashlight. The owner of the strawberry patch on Watmaugh Road and Arnold Drive reported an attempted break-in sometime overnight. Someone tried to enter the shed and while they couldn’t get in, the burglars did take 14 chickens and miscellaneous produce. On the debit side, they left their flashlight behind.
Thursday, Nov. 21:
8:09 a.m. – Very expensive vandalism. A resident in the 18000 block of Poplar Ave. reported that sometime overnight, someone heavily keyed both of his vehicles. The vehicles were parked on the street and were the only two vehicles on the street damaged. The victim estimated the damage at $4,500 on each vehicle.
Friday, Nov. 22:
7:37 a.m. – Mirror, mirror on the wall, where’s my Blue Ray player? A resident in the 19000 block of Seventh Street East reported that someone gained entry to an outbuilding by breaking a window and absconding with a Blue Ray DVD player valued at $1,500 and a three-foot to four-foot round mirror valued at $500.
10:32 a.m. – Burgled server. An employee of a winery in the 8000 block of Highway 12 in Kenwood reported that sometime overnight someone entered the business office and took a computer server and printer. There was no sign of forced entry.
Sunday, Nov. 24:
8:06 p.m. – You take the high road and I’ll take the low road… While on foot patrol in the area around First Avenue and East Thompson Street, a deputy contacted three subjects who were also on foot. Upon seeing the deputy, the three split up and started walking in different directions. The deputy recognized one of the individuals as Evan Schoenfeldt, 36, of the Springs. Schoenfeldt confirmed that he was on probation and consented to a search. The deputy found a small plastic bag that contained heroin, and Schoenfeldt was arrested and charged with possession of a narcotic controlled substance.
Tuesday, Nov. 26:
9:51 p.m. – Self-abuse in public. Deputies were called to the area of Riverside Drive and Tuscany Place on the report of a man masturbating in a parked vehicle. The deputy confronted the 39-year-old Boyes Hot Springs resident who admitted that’s what he was going. The reporting party swore out a citizen’s arrest against the man on charges of indecent exposure, and he was taken to jail.
Friday, Nov. 29:
5:45 p.m. – Misadventures of a man with a chain. Deputies responded to a report of a man hitting cars with a chain in a parking lot in the 18000 block of Highway 12. When deputies arrived on the scene, the man had already moved on, but a motorist approached and asked if they were looking for somebody swinging a chain. The motorist said the man had been in front of Mary’s Pizza Shack waving the chain and screaming racial epithets and was last seen headed toward the Acacia Grove Mobilehome Park.
At the park, the deputies asked a resident if he had seen a man matching the description of the chain-waver. The man replied, “You mean Kirk?” One of the deputies knew who the chain-waver was and they went to his residence, where they found him bloodied and battered. The man, Kirk Petersen, 47, told the deputies he had consumed a 12-pack of beer and that he’d had “the snot beaten out of him” by four or five men with chains, although he claimed he hadn’t used any racial epithets to prompt the attack. Instead of going to jail, Petersen was sent to Memorial Hospital for his injuries.
While investigating, they found a subject who said he had an encounter with Petersen. The man said Petersen walked up to his car and started hitting it with his chain. The man got out of the car and confronted Petersen and punched him in the face at which time Petersen ran off.
The deputies had not had a chance to question Petersen (who was still hospitalized) at press time about who beat him up, but he was facing charges of felony vandalism, misdemeanor exhibiting a deadly weapon, misdemeanor uttering offensive words in public and a felony parole violation upon his release from the hospital.
Tuesday, Dec. 3:
9:20 p.m. – Road rage with a BB gun. A Sonoma man ended up in jail after a reported road-rage incident during which he pulled a rifle – that later turned out to be a BB gun – on a motorist in the area of Watmaugh Road and Arnold Drive. After getting a description of the vehicle and a plate number, deputies went to the suspect’s residence and questioned the man. He at first denied that he had been driving the vehicle but later changed his story. The 22-year-old Sonoma resident had a warrant out for his arrest for a failure to appear in court on a charge of driving on a suspended license.
The man also denied he had brandished a weapon, but deputies found the BB gun in the trunk of the man’s car. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor exhibiting a firearm and the probation violation.
Wednesday, Dec. 4:
3:33 p.m. – No license but lots of pot for sale. While on patrol in the area of Highway 12 and Siesta Way, a deputy pulled over a vehicle for a code violation. The deputy recognized the 17-year-old driver from prior contacts, and the teen admitted he didn’t have a driver’s license.
The deputy asked if there was anything illegal in the car and the youth said there wasn’t and let the deputy conduct a search. The deputy found some cash and some marijuana in a plastic bag, along with a strong odor of marijuana. Searching further, the deputy discovered additional marijuana that was concealed, including several bags containing 30 grams each and a larger plastic bag containing 130 grams of grass along with additional plastic bags.
The 17-year-old was arrested for felony possession of marijuana for sale, felony transportation of marijuana for sale and driving without a license. The vehicle was impounded and the teen went to juvenile hall.