Sonoma Cops: Parallel worlds in police work
On the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 31, a deputy went to a home on Harley Street in El Verano to contact a suspect under warrant from Reno, Nevada, based on information that the man was staying there. When he was located and the warrant confirmed, Shawn J. Stephensen, 41, was taken into custody.
As he was being arrested another individual drove up to the residence who, in the judgment of the deputy, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. A field sobriety test was conducted and the suspect was informed she would be going to jail for driving under the influence. When she was told this, she volunteered that she had a pipe on her person and handed it over to the deputy, and added that she had a small amount of methamphetamine in her vehicle. She was arrested on possession of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of said controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia for use with like controlled substances. Kathleen Marie Petterson, 28, was arrested and booked in county jail.
Groundhog Day began shortly after 2 a.m. on Feb. 2, a Saturday, when Sonoma Police responded to a call about a traffic collision on West Spain Street at Junipero Serra Drive. A black compact vehicle had driven into an immovable object, in this case a rock wall on West Spain, with sufficient impact to deploy the vehicle’s airbags. The solo occupant and driver of the vehicle, Jose Luis Dominguez-Caldera, 26, was still in the driver’s seat when officers arrived. He denied medical assistance but did admit to consuming alcohol, and showed signs of being under the influence; the field sobriety test showed a .107 blood alcohol level, in excess of the legal limit of .08. He was taken into custody.
Less than an hour later, at 2:53 a.m., also on West Spain Street, a deputy came upon the scene of an accident at the corner of Second Street West. A black compact vehicle was in the middle of the street, with a blue compact pushed onto the sidewalk. The deputy contacted the suspect, Miguel Alfaro Gutierrez, 26, who got out of the driver’s seat of the black vehicle. The deputy recognized that Gutierrez was on DUI probation, and while he did not smell an odor of alcohol emanating or emitting from the suspect, the deputy did smell the odor of marijuana. Guiterrez admitted having smoked marijuana earlier in the day, and also acknowledged that the blue vehicle had been parked when he hit it. He was arrested at the scene and booked into county jail.
The morning after
Exactly 24 hours later, at 2:53 a.m., a Valley sub-station deputy witnessed a white truck with a camper shell run a stop sign at Orchard and River Road in Boyes Hot Springs; suspecting intoxication, he called in a trained Sonoma Police deputy for the field test screening. The tests demonstrated a blood alcohol content reading of a .20, so Stephen Michael Myers, 37, was arrested for driving while intoxicated. As his vehicle was being searched deputies found an empty carton of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Nearly an hour earlier, at 1:58 a.m., the same Sonoma police officer who conducted the DUI had been dispatched to the area of Third Street West and Andrieux, looking for a white truck with a camper shell seen speeding and running stop signs in the area. When asked at the scene of the later incident, Myers denied the activity.