It was about 7:50 p.m. on Jan. 30, when a Rohnert Park man, northbound on Highway 12 approaching Pythian Road, caught the eye of a Sonoma police officer by virtue of the burned rubber smell trailing his silver Ford F-150 pickup truck, and the line of traffic stacked up behind it.
As the officer drew near, the truck angled onto the shoulder of the road and veered gradually into a ditch, plowing a furrow as it went because the truck’s front and rear passenger-side tires – and wheels – were completely gone. The Ford, it improbably appeared, was travelling on its brake rotors, although the driver seemed unaware of its declining forward progress and the slower the truck went the harder the driver appeared to be pressing the accelerator. As a result, the rear wheel was spinning, but the truck was going nowhere and appeared in danger of rolling over in the ditch.
The officer pulled in behind the stalled truck, approached the cab and encountered what he described as “the overwhelming odor of alcohol.”
Bottles of Negro Modelo littered the cab and one beer appeared to have spilled on the floor.
Asked how many of the beverages he had consumed, the driver replied in a heavily-slurred voice, “Oh, I had a couple.”
The officer, who was standing precariously on the edge of the traffic lane, assisted the driver out of the truck, at which point the man almost fell into passing traffic. The officer steered the man to the back of the Ford and out of harm’s way, but he was so drunk he could barely stand and couldn’t remember how to spell his name.
His blood alcohol, as registered on a field PAS unit, registered .20, and a blood sample was subsequently taken after he was booked into the county jail on a DUI charge. It was not immediately apparent where the Ford’s wheels and tires ended up, but it was determined that 47-year-old Silverio Fragozo had three prior DUI’s, so this one was a felony.
In other incidents reported by local law enforcement:
Thursday, Jan. 30:
2:40 p.m. – E-cig bust leads to joint discovery. A student at Altimira Middle School was spotted with an e-cigarette on campus, was subsequently detained, which resulted in a search of his backpack, which produced an empty mouthwash bottle with a single marijuana joint inside. The joint contained about .2 grams of marijuana bud, which was confiscated.
The boy was cited out to Youth and Family Services, and Sonoma police issued a reminder that e-cigarettes are not legal in the possession of students or anyone under 18, on or off school campuses.
Friday, Jan. 31:
1:47 p.m. – E-cigs under a bridge. Three juveniles were discovered under the Nathanson Creek bridge on the Sonoma Valley High School campus using e-cigarettes. They were cited for possession of a nicotine-product smoking device. Police later noted that e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular with juveniles, although they are still illegal for anyone under the age of 18.