Sonoma police beat: Restraint-averse suspect escapes again

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Sonoma police deputies showed up at Sonoma Valley Hospital at mid-afternoon on the last day of the year, Dec. 31, responding to a report that a patient awaiting transport to another medical facility was throwing water at people passing him in the halls. Since the suspect was known to deputies from previous encounters, they assisted paramedics in heavily restraining Timothy R. Schoonover, 31, and taking him on a gurney to the waiting ambulance.

Once outside the hospital doors, Schoonover partially unbuckled his restraints and tried to stand on the gurney, becoming combative with the deputies and allegedly making death threats and spitting on two of them.

This was not the first time Schoonover tried escaping from a gurney, or the second. In October, 2016, he was arrested after a tire-slashing spree, was put on restraints on a gurney but managed a partial escape, threatening and kicking the deputies before finally being taken to the hospital – and charged with felony obstruction, vandalism and battery. He was convicted and sent to prison.

In July, 2018, Schoonover tried to escape his still-ongoing jail term by faking a medical crisis and getting a deputy-enhanced transport to the hospital. En route, under restraints and on a gurney, he managed to squirm partially free in the back of the ambulance before again being restrained. He was cleared of any health crisis at the hospital, and went back to jail with an added charge of attempted escape.

But on the last day of the year, Schoonover’s recurring escape episode ended up pretty much as the others had. When he was eventually fully under control, he was evaluated by medical and law enforcement personnel and cleared for incarceration. He was arrested on a felony charge of resisting an executive officer – a more serious crime than resisting arrest – and a misdemeanor charge of battery on a police officer.

He missed his latest medical appointment and ended up spending New Year’s Eve back in the county jail, on a bail of $20,000. He is still in custody.

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