Tip aids cops in nabbing suspect
Man wanted for RP hit-and-run nabbed by Sebastopol PD
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By Dave Williams  August 7, 2014 11:25 am

A man sought for a fatal hit-and-run collision by the officers from Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety was delivered to them thanks to an anonymous tip and assistance from the Sebastopol Police Dept. on Friday, Aug. 1.

According to a report by the Sebastopol Police Dept., one of its officers was flagged down by a passing motorist who said a man inside the Burger King at 700 Gravenstein Highway North was wanted by the RPDPS. Two officers then went to the Burger King and another officer earlier had learned RPDPS was seeking the suspect, Emmanuel Sanchez-Martinez, on a $150,000 felony warrant for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, hit-and-run causing death and driving without a license. All this was based on a fatal collision in Rohnert Park on July 28, 2013. At the Burger King, the officers contacted the 26-year-old Sanchez-Martinez, who said his name was Jose Manuel Cruz-Gonzalez. He presented a Matricular Consular card displaying that name. But one of the officers obtained identifying information from the RPDPS regarding Sanchez-Martinez that matched the individual at Burger King. He was detained and turned over to RPDPS officers for further investigation and later booked into the Sonoma County Jail on the warrant. The Sebastopol PD will be seeking a charge of giving false information to the Police.

“The initial Sebastopol officers did a great job with their swift identification as well as communication with Rohnert Park DPS officials in identifying this individual,” RPDPS Sgt. Aaron Johnson said.

Sanchez-Martinez for nearly a year managed to hide in plain sight. He had changed his appearance, according to Rohnert Park police. He had added weight, wore his hair in corn rows and had grown a long beard.

“It was evident that Sanchez-Martinez disguised his appearance as a way of hiding,” Johnson said. “At first glance, you would not know it was him. Conceivable, you could have walked past him on the street and never looked twice.”

The fatality victim was his brother, Jose Sanchez, 27. Another brother, Edgar, was seriously injured in the accident. According to a public safety report, Emmanuel Sanchez-Martinez, 26, stole his brother’s Chevy Tahoe from outside his residence on Anson Avenue. As he was backing up, the owner of the vehicle, his brother Jose Sanchez, jumped onto the driver’s side of the vehicle, as it was moving down the road. Emmanuel Sanchez-Martinez’s other brother, Edgar Sanchez-Martinez, jumped onto the passenger side outside the vehicle. 

Despite his brothers clinging to the exterior of the vehicle, Emmanuel continued westbound on Southwest Boulevard at a high rate of speed, according to the report. Per statements garnered through the RPDPS investigation, the speeds were so fast the Jesse and Edgar’s lives were in danger. Emmanuel continued west on Southwest Boulevard until he lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle jumped the curb and crashed into the retaining wall, throwing Edgar Sanchez-Martinez 50 feet and leaving him with serious injuries.

As one brother lay dead and the other badly hurt, Emmanuel exited the vehicle and fled south on foot through the parking lot of 121 Southwest Blvd., witnesses at the time said.

Sanchez-Martinez remains in Sonoma County Jail, and his bail has been set at $750,000.


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