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Drunk driver tries to flee scene

By: Katherne Minkiewicz
February 9, 2018

Last week Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officers responded to a 9-1-1 call of a vehicle collision on Commerce Boulevard and Golf Course Drive, where a female driver of a Honda rammed into the back of a woman’s car, fled the scene and crashed into the front of a police car. The incident, which occurred Jan. 30 around 10:25 p.m., also involved the assault of a paramedic, who was bitten by the suspect, 22-year-old Andromeda Hartwell.

Hartwell, a Rohnert Park resident, fled the scene of the accident when the victim attempted to exchange information. According to a department of public safety press release, the victim was able to obtain suspect’s license plate.

“Officers from the RPDPS responded to the area of the collision to assist the victim and attempt to locate the vehicle. Once in the area, Rohnert Park Dispatch informed officers that the involved Honda Odyssey returned to an address on the 1300 block of Jasmine Circle in RP,” the press release states.

A sergeant then responded to Jasmine Circle where he found the vehicle matching the description. The suspect was driving towards the responding officer and despite activating emergency lights to try and get the driver to stop, the car crashed into the front of the sergeant’s vehicle.

The Voice attempted to reach out to the department of public safety to get a comment on the police car and medic’s condition, however, they did not respond in time for publication. 

 The suspect was quickly detained but became increasingly combative and resisted arrest. According to police, after she was detained she was kicking and trying to get away from officers. The paramedic assault occurred when a Sonoma Life Support Paramedic was helping Hartwell onto a hospital bed.

Hartwell was cleared from the hospital and booked into Sonoma County Jail for several chargers, including misdemeanor hit and run, resisting arrest, assault and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Later that week, RP Public Safety Officers conducted a DUI checkpoint Friday and Saturday evening, where 12 drivers were arrested and cited for drunk driving. The checkpoint was also in place to check driver’s licenses.

According to the Rohnert Park Patch, the checkpoint took place from 7:20 p.m. until early Saturday morning at the Expressway near State Farm Drive. 1,199 vehicles were screened throughout the checkpoint.

Funds for the checkpoint were provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety in an effort to help keep city streets safe from drunk drivers.

According to the DMV in 2013 there were 160,388 DUI arrests in California, 1,197 alcohol-involved crash fatalities and 23,178 alcohol-involved crash injuries.