Demonstrating a certain failure to grasp the meaning of searchable probation, yet another probationer was utterly unprepared for a visit from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office when deputies dropped in unannounced on Jan. 16.
Benjamin Zaragoza, 24, was at his residence in the 17900 block of Highlands Boulevard when the deputies arrived and apparently didn’t have time to tidy the place up, so to speak. That much was clear when deputies found a whole trove of items that a probationer shouldn’t possess, including alcohol, marijuana, ammunition, a BB gun with the orange tip removed, a 1911-style pistol, a loaded shotgun, cash and what was described as a large amount of methamphetamine.
Zaragoza was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of a controlled substance for sale, felony possession of marijuana for sale, felony maintaining a place to sell narcotic controlled substances and felony possession of a loaded firearm while in possession of a controlled substance. He was also charged with a misdemeanor probation violation and a scanner violation.
Zaragoza was booked into the county jail.
In other incidents reported recently to Valley law enforcement:
Wednesday, Jan. 15:
4:02 p.m. – Stolen: One bike, barbecue tools, satellite control. A resident in the 17000 block of Arnold Drive reported that someone stole a bicycle and some barbecue tools from an unlocked shed in her back yard. Someone also broke into her locked RV and stole a satellite control and various tools.
Thursday, Jan. 16:
5:04 p.m. – Dealing down by the creek. While on foot patrol in Larson Park, a deputy heard voices coming from the area of the creek and it didn’t take long for him to determine he was witnessing a business transaction involving drugs. When one of the three participants fired up a pipe to sample some marijuana, the deputy stepped out of the shadows and detained the trio. Two were teenaged entrepreneurs who were trying to sell some weed to a 26-year-old man. Their inventory also included some psilocybin mushrooms and some alcohol. The 26-year-old was cited for possession of marijuana while the two 17-year-olds were cited to Youth and Family Services on charges of possession of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. They were released to the custody of their parents.
Friday, Jan. 17:
11:13 a.m. Adolescent gibberish. A rash of obscene graffiti was found on the side of a Ford van and on a garage door in the 400 block of Rosalie Drive and in the 500 block of Curtin Lane. Interspersed with “F-bombs,” the graffiti announced “free candy” and “You only live once …”
2:28 p.m. Unlocked Giant goes missing. A Giant Yukon, full-suspension mountain bike, left conveniently unlocked on the back rack of a vehicle parked in front of a house in the 500 block of Curtin Lane, was taken sometime overnight. The bike was described as black and white with bright blue accents. It was valued at $700.
Saturday, Jan. 18:
1:51 p.m. – Cashing in with stolen checks. A resident in the 16000 block of Estrella Drive reported that, the day before, someone tried to cash a check on his account for $900, but the bank refused to accept the check. A bank in Santa Rosa later cashed a similar check on his account for $923.17.
Sunday, Jan. 19:
2 a.m. – Vicious assault knocks out stranger. A 25-year-old Santa Rosa man allegedly assaulted someone purported to be a total stranger at a Plaza saloon at closing time, punching him in the head hard enough to knock him unconscious. The victim then reportedly fell to the ground, with his head caught on the brass bar railing, at which point the suspect kept punching him multiple times in the head and jaw.
Witnesses told police there was no provocation and the victim subsequently told police he had never seen his assailant before.
The suspect, who denied to police that he punched anyone, threatened another bystander, according to witnesses, allegedly stating, “Yeah? I’ll knock you the f— out, too.”
Police arrested Nicholas Vargas Serna, who appeared to be heavily intoxicated, charged him with felony battery with serious bodily injury and booked him into the county jail.
The victim declined transport to the hospital, against the strenuous advice of paramedics called to the scene.
4:20 p.m. – Lock the car but leave the purse? A woman who left her purse on the passenger seat of her locked vehicle, at the Sonoma County Regional Park in the 14000 block of Arnold Drive, returned 40 minutes later to find the passenger window shattered and her purse missing. The purse contained the woman’s wallet, credit and debit cards, an unknown amount of cash, her passport and four checks that she had written to herself in the amount of $16,000, $8,000 and $4,000, and an amount she couldn’t remember on the fourth check.
5:47 p.m. – Car egged, tires slashed. A woman who had parked her car the night before in the vicinity of Boyes Boulevard and Lucas Avenue, discovered the next morning that someone had egged the vehicle and slashed three tires. She estimated the damage to be about $800. Other cars in the area had also been egged, but hadn’t been otherwise vandalized.