Saturday, February 14, 2015

Henry 1: Man arrested after helicopter pursuit outside Sebastopol, Sonoma County, California

A 24-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of a minor crime spree after leading police on a hide-and-seek chase through a field just outside Sebastopol, police said.

Jacob Cyrus Sullivan of Sebastopol was arrested before noon after he was tackled by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Mahoney, said Lt. Greg Miller.

Sullivan is suspected of stealing a car on the outskirts of Sebastopol on Friday night and then losing control of the car near Canfield Road south of Sebastopol and crashing into a fence, Miller said.

The car became stuck and could not be driven, so the car’s driver went to a nearby residence where he attempted to break into two cars, Miller said.

A neighbor around 8:30 a.m. spotted the suspect and confronted him, Miller said. The man escaped into a nearby field, but the woman was able to strip a backpack he had been carrying.

“She ripped the backpack right off of his back,” Miller said.

Sheriff’s deputies and the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Henry 1, were dispatched, along with a K-9 unit from the Santa Rosa Police Department. But the suspect was able to hid along Blucher Creek, where it is heavily shaded by trees and brush, Miller said.

The search was called off after two hours. But by 11:30 a.m., a resident on Cunningham Road that borders the field saw a man running and his description matched the suspect, Miller said.

Police again began stetting up a perimeter and Henry 1 took flight. Pilot Paul Bradley was able to quickly land the helicopter in the field and Mahoney jumped out and sprinted across the field and tackled Sullivan as he tried to climb a fence, he said.

Sullivan was arrested on suspicion of auto burglary and one charge of resisting arrest, Miller said. Police also discovered in the backpack a stolen computer taken during a recent Rohnert Park burglary, so Sullivan faces an additional complaint of possession of stolen property. In addition, police found drugs in the backpack as well, though no compliant has been filed as deputies were conducting tests Saturday afternoon, Miller said.

In addition, the CHP booked Sullivan on one compliant each of vehicle theft and hit and run, Miller said. At the time of his arrest, Sullivan had a felony warrant for evading police and violation of probation, he said.

Sullivan was being held in the Sonoma County Jail on Saturday.

Miller said it is unusual that a deputy would get off Henry 1 to follow a suspect on foot during a chase as opposed to allowing those in police cars responding to a pursuit. “We don’t have a lot of opportunities to do that,” he said.

But Miler said some circumstances Saturday made it a viable option. Those factors included having an open field to land the helicopter, that the perimeter had not been established by the time Henry 1 arrived, and that there was additional tactical flight officer on board the aircraft besides Mahoney to help the pilot in the chase.

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