The Sonora Police Department arrested two suspects involved in two separate fights Saturday night.
The department had increased staffing due to the thousands of people in attendance at the Unruly County festival held at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds.
Sonora Police Department Interim Police Chief Turu VanderWiel said that increased street and foot patrols had a “positive impact on the amount of calls we received” throughout the day and night. The extra law enforcement presence was intentional, he added, to “minimize any impact from increased population.”
“There was a great deal of people out and about. Lots of pedestrian traffic, lots of activity,” he said. “However, our arrest log wasn't too significantly higher than other weekends.”
One of the first of the post-festival incidents involved an assault call from outside of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on North Forest Road about 9:45 p.m., VanderWiel said.
When officers arrived they saw a man on top of a male victim, with the suspect slamming the victim’s head against the asphalt.
VanderWiel confirmed that the suspect and victim were both “goers to the festival” and the fight had occurred “a short distance away from the fairground” as many people were leaving the area.
“We don't know if it was an extension of an issue from inside or not,” he said. “We just know they were goers to the event.”
Sonora Police Department logs indicate that the reporting party believed there were at least six people involved in the fight.
At the scene, officers were forced to use a Taser to incapacitate the suspect and stop the fight immediately.
Michael Logan Baker, 22, of Sonora, was booked on suspicion of battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon.
His bail was set at $50,000.
VanderWiel said in this case the asphalt could be considered a deadly weapon.
Hours later, officers conducting a foot patrol of downtown Sonora “came upon” a fight involving multiple subjects in front of The Office bar on South Washington Street, VanderWiel said.
Officers were unable to break up the fight until pepper spray was used on the suspects, he said.
At least three people were detained, VanderWiel said, but one person deemed responsible for the fight was arrested.
Emiliano Garcia, 24, of Hesperia, was booked on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, fighting in a public place and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors.
His bail was set at $5,000.
Woman under the influence of drugs charged with assault on peace officer
The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Sonora resident Saturday night after responding to a report that a woman was screaming for help on the 21000 block of Crystal Falls Drive.
About 10:25 p.m., deputies contacted the woman who was screaming in the street outside of her home, Sgt. Andrea Benson said. The deputies attempted to have her return inside, but she refused and took a hostile stance toward deputies.
The woman put her hand and fingers violently in a deputy’s face and continued to resist arrest after deputies told her she was under arrest.
The woman was later found to be under the influence of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.
Karen Kristin Zumwalt, 49, was booked on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Her bail was set at $5,000.
Black Oak Casino theft suspect returns to scene, is arrested
The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Copperopolis resident early Sunday morning at Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne after he had been previously identified as a suspect in a Friday morning theft.
About 3 a.m. on Friday, a man was seen on Black Oak Casino surveillance equipment stealing an Apple laptop, a laptop bag and cash from the trunk of a Mercedes Benz parked in the second level of the parking garage at the casino. The owner of the vehicle did not see any signs of forced entry and originally told investigating deputies that the vehicle had been locked.
The suspect left the casino in a blue Audi that was parked just in front of the Mercedes.
The Sheriff’s Office was again notified by casino security early Sunday morning that the suspect had returned to the casino.
When confronted by deputies, the man admitted to stealing the items from the trunk when he noticed that it was not secure, a Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office news release said.
The suspect was also found to be in possession of cash, methamphetamine and pills at the time of his subsequent arrest.
Tyler Wilson, 33, was booked on suspicion of grand theft and misdemeanor charges possession of a controlled substance, possession of a narcotic controlled substance and receiving known stolen property after his arrest.
His bail was set at $20,000.
Man arrested outside Sheriff’s Office for attempted car theft
The Sonora Police Department arrested a Redwood City man Sunday afternoon after he was detained by Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies for attempting to steal a Sheriff’s Office employee’s vehicle.
VanderWiel said that there was no indication that the vandalism and attempted theft of the vehicle had been premeditated.
Deputies had determined that the man had caused about $400 in damage to the vehicle, VanderWiel said.
VanderWiel added that the majority of the damage was made to the fuel tank door and driver’s side rearview mirror.
Antonio Torres, 42, was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft, vandalism and misdemeanor charges tampering with a vehicle, vandalism, and misdemeanor charges tampering with a vehicle.
Torres had been arrested earlier that day by the Sonora Police Department when he was discovered attempting to break into a Rent-A-Center truck outside of the business on Mono Way.
Torres was charged about 6 a.m. that morning with disorderly conduct and possession of a controlled substance after the arrest.