A Kenwood man turned himself into the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday evening in connection with an attack on a woman walking her dog Sunday morning on the grounds of the Sonoma Developmental Center.
Sonoma Police Sgt. Dave Thompson said Paul Mott, 53, of Kenwood, was booked into the county jail after turning himself in. Thompson said Mott placed a phone call to Sheriff’s detectives at the main office in Santa Rosa after learning he was being sought. He was invited to come in and talk about what happened. He did so, made a statement and was arrested. Thompson could not divulge the contents of the statement.
Mott was charged with felony robbery, battery and cruelty to an animal. His bail was set at $50,000, but on Thursday Thompson said Mott had already posted bail and had been released.
Mott is being accused of an attack on a 60-year-old woman Sunday morning on a trail adjacent to Suttonfield Lake on the SDC grounds.
Early reports placed the attack at the nearby Sonoma Valley Regional Park, but Thompson said the incident actually occurred on the SDC property. According to Thompson, two dogs, owned by the victim and Mott, got into a fight at about 8:50 a.m. on a trail that circles the reservoir. During or after the dog fight, Mott reportedly wrapped his dog’s leash around the victim’s neck, tightened it and yelled angrily at the woman. Mott kicked the woman’s dog repeatedly, said Thompson, who described the man’s behavior as “way, way over the top. It was a criminal assault.”
The woman managed to free herself, Thompson said, and then attempted to take a photo of Mott with her cellphone. He then snatched her phone, knocked off her glasses and threw the phone into the reservoir. Mott then ran off toward Arnold Drive, roughly half a mile west of the site of the assault. The woman was able to report the attack after stopping another hiker who called for help.
Suttonfield Lake is a manmade reservoir used as a water supply for SDC. A hiking trail, roughly 1.5-miles long, follows the entire shoreline and is a popular site for hikers, joggers and horseback riders. Dogs are not allowed off-leash on the trail but the rule is routinely ignored, and many dog walkers free their animals to allow them access to the water.
The woman suffered what Thompson described as a “very minor abrasion on one hand,” a broken earring and glasses, and the loss of her iPhone 5, which was thrown too far out into the lake to recover, Thompson said. Anyone with any further information about the attack should contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office at 565-2121.