Jailed Sonoma man attempts escape from ambulance

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A Sonoma man serving time in county jail attempted to escape last week, though according to a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office report, he didn’t get very far. But his attempted escape, from a gurney taking him to the hospital for medical examination, bore some resemblance to his initial arrest in October, 2016.

Timothy Schoonover, 30, was in custody at Sonoma County Jail and being transported to Sutter Hospital last Friday night, July 27, after exhibiting medical problems, according to the report.

“While being transported to the hospital, Schoonover sat up, unbuckled his two seatbelts and attempted to get up off the gurney,” said Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sheriff’s Office. “Paramedics in the ambulance were able to wrestle with him and keep him on the gurney.”

Crum elaborated that prisoners being transported to the hospital are accompanied by two paramedics in the rear of the ambulance, as well as the driver; a deputy follows in a separate vehicle for security.

The driver of the ambulance pulled over when Schoonover began his attempt, and the deputy who had been following was able to hold the inmate down while the paramedics used restraints to secure him to the gurney.

At the hospital, Schoonover was medically cleared and returned to the jail. “We believe there was evidence that suggested he was faking his medical issue to attempt an escape from the ambulance,” said Crum.

The sergeant added that such escape attempts are “an uncommon occurrence.”

Schoonover was serving a 2-year term for vandalism and felony resisting arrest, stemming from an Oct. 17, 2016 incident in Eldridge that also saw him attempt to escape custody while strapped to a gurney.

On that date, he was apprehended for slicing tires on a vehicle in front of an apartment in the 900 block of Madrone Road, and making threats to kill himself. A third party took the knife away from him and Schoonover fled, only to be apprehended by responding deputies.

In the back of the patrol car, Schoonover became angry and started yelling and banging his head on the car’s divider. Deputies then placed him in maximum restraints, and sent for medics to check him out.

When they arrived, the medics had him put on a gurney, but Schoonover fought to get off. He threatened to kill the deputies and to “kick their ass,” according to a contemporary report in the Index-Tribune, kicking one deputy before the medics took him to the hospital.

After being checked out at the hospital that time, Schoonover was arrested on charges of felony obstruction, felony vandalism, battery on a peace officer and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was transported to jail and remained in custody through his sentencing in July, 2017.

Sometime in the past year he was apparently released on probation, but was again arrested in June of this year for probation violation. Schoonover was currently serving out a two-year sentence for his original vandalism and felony resisting arrest charges.

Following the hospital incident of July 27, he was returned to the jail and booked on a new charge of attempted escape.

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