Easter Sunday clash in Petaluma ends with no injuries or arrests

A seven-hour standoff on Easter Sunday in Petaluma ended with no injuries or arrests, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

A hostage negotiation team that included a psychologist was unable to convince a man suspected of armed robbery who barricaded himself in a hangar on Casa Grande Road to leave after hours of effort, a said Misti Wood, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

After considering the risks of a few different strategies, law enforcement officials decided to defuse the scene as they left, rather than fight their way into the hangar.

“De-escalation can be very efficient and complex because it relies on more than one person,” Wood said. “Sometimes there’s this firm conclusion, and that wasn’t the case here.”

The sheriff’s office now has a warrant for the arrest of Omar Saldana-Campos, the 24-year-old Petaluma man suspected of attempting to steal a bicycle and threatening the victim if she reported him to law enforcement. order.

The incident was first reported at 9:20 a.m. Sunday when a man allegedly stole the bike from its owner and then pulled it through the windows of a residence, then remaining on the property on Casa Grande Road between Old Adobe Road and Hidden. Valley Road. Several households lived on the property in different homes, including trailers, the sheriff’s office said.

When law enforcement arrived, the man barricaded himself in a shed on the property. Deputies used a loudspeaker to call everyone else on the property out of their residences. A total of eight people resided there, not including the suspect.

Deputies were unable to reach Saldana-Campos via her mobile phone. They called in the hostage negotiation team, along with fire and ambulance resources from Petaluma. Petaluma police and the sheriff’s office issued Nixle alerts warning people to avoid the area.

The Hostage Negotiation Team responds to situations involving suicidal subjects, barricaded suspects and hostage takers. Their role “is to establish a relationship with the person involved and bring the situation to a peaceful resolution,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

But Saldana-Campos did not comply, Wood said, and within hours deputies began interviewing witnesses to further piece together what had happened to trigger the call to authorities.

Witnesses told deputies that Saldana-Campos hid the stolen bike inside his house on the property. One person told deputies that Saldana-Campos then came out of his bedroom with a gun that appeared to be a BB or pellet gun. He fired two shots, but no one was injured.

While the hostage negotiation team was working, Petaluma Police and the California Highway Patrol closed Casa Grande Road between Old Adobe and Garfield Drive or Ely Boulevard South, Wood said. At least one drone, piloted by a deputy sheriff, provided aerial surveillance.

Because deputies were unsure whether Saldana-Campos still had the weapon used earlier, Wood said, they had to weigh the safest course of action in response to his refusal to surrender.

In this case, she said, the team decided on a “complete disengagement by ending the call.”

Before leaving, the deputies discussed with the other residents of the property their intention to leave. All but two people said they would remain on the property even with the man still barricaded in the shed, Wood said.

The two people who declined to stay that evening temporarily found another place to go, on the recommendation of deputies, Wood said.

MPs gave the public the “all clear” signal via Nixle at 4.29pm on Sunday, more than seven hours after the first call.

Law enforcement had previous interactions with Saldana-Campos, so they were also confident they would be able to locate and arrest him another time, Wood said.

“We know who he is,” she said. “We were assessing the risk to everyone on site and that’s why we decided to withdraw.”

The arrest warrant issued against Saldana-Campos relates to allegations including robbery and threatening to commit a crime against witnesses.

You can reach editor Kaylee Tornay at 707-521-5250 or kaylee.tornay@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ka_tornay.

Alicia R. Rucker