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Weekend roundup: Multiple DUI arrests, vehicle theft, and corporal injury charges


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Provided / The Sonora Police Department is seeking the identity of a man suspected of puncturing a car tire in the Lowe's Home Improvement store parking lot on Wednesday.

Tuolumne County law enforcement netted four driving under the influence arrests over the weekend, three of them within the Sonora city limits from Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

The first DUI arrest of the weekend occurred in Jamestown when a motorcyclist fled from California Highway Patrol officers before losing control of his bike and careening off the road into a barbed wire fence.

Officer Jason Austin said officers attempted to stop a man on the bike for riding with no license plate and for driving in the dark without headlights on.

The driver sped off on the motorcycle onto westbound Highway 108 before turning onto Wigwam Road.

The chase continued for nine-tenths of a mile until the motorcycle drove off Wigwam Road near the intersection of Jamestown Road and smashed into a fence lined with barbed wire, Austin said.

Officers untangled the man from the fence and took him to Adventist Health Sonora for treatment of minor injuries.

Austin did not have information for the man’s blood alcohol content.

Jonathan Thomas Villalobos, of Jamestown, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on $50,000 bail on suspicion of recklessly evading a peace officer and misdemeanor charges driving under the influence following the arrest.

Sonora Police Sgt. Chris Rogers said the majority of Police Department arrests came from people leaving downtown businesses or private residences, but he did not believe the flurry of arrests were indicative of a rising pattern of local DUI incidents.

“Generally over weekend we will get one or two DUIs on a Friday or Saturday night,” he said.

The first occurred on Tuolumne Road in Sonora, after a Sonora resident did not stop when an officer tried to pull him over for speeding. When the man was pulled over, he was found to be two times above the legal limit of .08, Rogers said.

Zachary Marshall Clark, 23, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of DUI.

In each of the DUI arrests, he said, an officer will consider a person’s driving patterns, and during initial contact if they have bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, or emitting the odor of an alcoholic beverage, Rogers said.

Field sobriety tests are administered such as the heel to toe turn test, the finger to nose test, and the standing leg raise tests, and when a person is arrested, they must submit to a chemical test to determine their level of intoxication.

A Portland, Oregon, man was arrested on suspicion of DUI after failing to stop for a red light at the Restano Way intersection, and after failing the administered tests, he blew a .25 BAC, Roberts said.

Anthony Wayne Robertson, 45, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of DUI.

The last DUI arrest of the weekend came just after 2 a.m. when a driver observed a vehicle stopped in the road, apparently to pick up passengers, Rogers said.

The officer was unable to pass the vehicle, and conducted a traffic stop on the basis of impeding traffic, he said.

After the driver was determined to be under the influence following the field sobriety tests, the man refused to submit to chemical tests. The man was transported to Adventist Health Sonora for a forced blood draw, which requires a search warrant signed by a judge.

When the warrant was obtained, the suspect still refused to submit to the sample, and kicked an officer several times as he was forcefully restrained, Roger said.

The BAC of the suspect was determined to be .186, a Sonora Police Department news release said.

George Tito Alberto Falero, 31, of Sonora, was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on $20,000 bail on suspicion of felony resisting an executive officer and driving under the influence.

Rogers said the felony classification indicated that the suspect had resisted arrest while using force against a peace officer, instead of a misdemeanor charge would would suggest delaying a peace officer in the performance of their duties.

Columbia man arrested on corporal injury charge

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Columbia man on Sunday after he punched a female victim in the face.

Sgt. Andrea Benson said a neighbor to a North Bald Mountain Road property called the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office after hearing a man and woman screaming at each other from inside the residence for over 20 minutes.

Deputies said the woman had visible injuries after she had reportedly been punched in the face by a man with whom she had an ongoing, but tumultuous relationship.

During an argument, deputies were told by the victim, the man had forcefully taken her cellphone and prevented her from calling law enforcement. When she attempted to retrieve the phone, he struck her with a closed fist.

Benson said the man had been arrested on Oct. 13 on inflicting corporal injury charges to the same victim at the same Bald Mountain Road property.

The man was out on bail, she said.

Derick John Lawrence, 38, was booked on suspicion of committing a felony while on bail, inflicting corporal injury and misdemeanor charges injuring a wireless communication device following an arrest on the 22700 block of Four Wheel Drive.

Lawrence was held in the Tuolumne County Jail on $55,000 bail.

Man flees stolen vehicle, is captured and arrested

The California Highway Patrol - Sonora area arrested a Jamestown man who fled from a stolen vehicle in front of a Highway 108 business Saturday night.

Officer Jason Austin said the Jamestown man was driving in the area of Highway 108 when he sped past CHP officers stationed in the area. When the officers ran the license plate on the vehicle, the discovered that the information did not match the car.

The vehicle pulled into the parking lot of the Dollar General on Highway 108, with a CHP officer close behind him to conduct the traffic stop.

The driver ran from the vehicle, but was quickly captured by the CHP officer, Austin said.

Austin said he was not sure where the vehicle had been stolen from. Ammunition was also found inside, he said.

Dustin Thomas Bales, 31, was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft, theft or extortion of a motor vehicle, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and misdemeanor charges resisting a peace officer and possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia following the arrest.

Bales was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on $10,000 bail.

Dorrington man dies in Arnold car crash

A Dorrington man died Saturday night in Arnold after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a tree.

The California Highway Patrol - San Andreas area said that Jonathan Hughes, 53, was driving a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck eastbound on Boards Crossing Road in Arnold, approaching Snowshoe Thompson Trail at an unknown speed Saturday night at about 9 p.m.

Johnson was unable to control the vehicle as the roadway split and traveled through the intersection and into a tree.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene and alcohol or drugs are not believed to be a factor.

Man breaks into home, threatens to kill victims if they report him

A Sonora man was arrested on Friday afternoon for breaking into the home of his girlfriend’s family and threatening to kill her or anyone who called law enforcement on him following a verbal dispute.

Sgt. Andrea Benson said a Sonora man broke into the main residence on the same Hunts Road property he lived on after an argument with his girlfriend.

According to Tuolumne County Sheriff’s logs, the homeowner called law enforcement to report that the daughter and the boyfriend had been “fighting for weeks” and acting hostile toward one another.

Both were under the influence of a drug during the dispute, she added, and the daughter made multiple references to loading a shotgun, though she did not know where or what firearms were located in the home.

The suspect broke through the front window of the house and told the homeowner that he would kill her if she called the cops, Benson said.

After he was detained by responding officers, the suspect had claimed nothing happened, Benson said.

Ryan Anthony Dixon, 34, was booked on suspicion of attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime following the arrest.

Dixon was booked into the Tuolumne County Jail on $40,000 bail.

Sonora Police seek tire puncturing man outside Lowe’s

The Sonora Police Department is seeking information on a man suspected of puncturing a car tire in the Lowe’s Home Improvement store parking lot on Wednesday.

The owner of a Mercury parked in the Lowe’s parking lot and entered into the store on Wednesday, Rogers said, and while shopping, an announcement rang over the intercom.

The owner of a Mercury was asked to come to the front of the store, Rogers said, and he was notified by store employees that his car tire had been punctured.

The man contacted law enforcement, who reviewed surveillance images of the suspect, Rogers said.

Surveillance footage identified the man, dressed in a beige sweater, with glasses and green slacks, as a the driver of a red Mustang with a tan top.

Sgt. Chris Rogers said the Sonora Police Department does not have any additional information on the motive or the identity of the suspect, and there does not appear to be any connection between the suspect and the victim.

The Sonora Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding the incident call 209-532-8141.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.