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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
Saturday July 13th, 2019 :: 11:47 a.m. PDT


Sheriff's K9 and less lethal utilized to arrest wanted suspect after slow speed pursuit.

Sheriff’s canine and less lethal utilized to arrest wanted subject after slow speed pursuit and hours long negotiations. 
The incident began at approx. 1015 p.m. on Friday, July 12th, 2019, when a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy initiated a traffic enforcement stop in Santa Rosa for reckless driving.  The vehicle failed to yield and continued in a slow speed pursuit (approx. 25 MPH).  Additional violations were observed including crossing into oncoming traffic and failing to stop at a red light intersection on Guerneville Road.
The driver, later identified as Fabian Romero, 22 yr. old from Santa Rosa, was additionally wanted on 3 Outstanding Warrants. 
Romero warrants stem from his prior arrests for weapons, traffic violations and another prior evading a peace officer.

Deputies involved were able to immobilize the vehicle with the use of a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) and spike strips. 

The vehicle came to rest in the area of Woolsey Road and Wood Road, in the unincorporated area west of Santa Rosa.  Romero however, remained in the vehicle and refused to comply with Deputies commands to exit.  Further, Romero had armed himself with two knives, which he held to his throat. 

Members of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT) as well as members of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) responded to the location. 

Several hours of negotiations were unsuccessful in gaining compliance from Romero.  HNT utilized several resources including a mental health physician and Romero’s family members who assisted our HNT Team.   

Romero began drinking beer and smoking inside the vehicle and taunting the law enforcement units on scene in an attempt to escalate the situation.  At one point during the negotiations, Romero faked having a medical issue. 

A tactical rescue plan was implemented, with medical staff on scene. Gas was deployed into Romero’s vehicle.  The gas had minimal effects and Romero exited the vehicle, still holding a knife.

Less lethal (40 mm rounds) were deployed as well as a Sheriff’s K9.  Romero refused to follow any directions and retreated back into his vehicle. 

The K9 was redeployed successfully and additional less lethal rounds were used before Romero surrendered and was taken into custody. 

Romero sustained some injuries as a result of the K9 bites and less lethal rounds.  He was transported and is being treated at a local hospital.  Romero will be booked after medical clearance for new charges as well as his pending warrants.
Press Release Prepared by:
Lt. A. Salas #442

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
2796 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-565-2650

Andrea Salas
Law Enforcement

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