Deputies from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office arrested a felon after he led them on a high speed chase, tossed a loaded rifle out of the car and was chased down by a Sheriff’s canine. The incident began yesterday at about 1 p.m. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Property Crimes/Narcotics unit were serving a drug related search warrant on Paul Gebhardt, a 29-year-old convicted felon who lives in the 6500 block of Country Club Dr. Rohnert Park.
Gebhardt has prior violations for firearms and was believed to have access to them based on a case that was being investigated. As detectives arrived at the home they observed Gebhardt exit and drive away.
A patrol deputy with a canine attempted to conduct a traffic stop in the parking lot of Raley’s Market on Commerce Blvd. Gebhardt briefly pulled over but then sped away, leading deputies on a high speed chase east on RP Expressway and north on State Farm Dr. Gebhardt lost control of his vehicle, a 2015 silver Honda CRV, and hit a curb and mailbox on St Farm Drive near Classic Court as his speed neared 90 mph.
In this area Gebhardt tossed an object wrapped in a plaid shirt out of his window that was later collected and determined to be an AR-15 style rifle with a short barrel and a loaded 40 round magazine with a round in the chamber.
Gebhardt made a right turn onto NB Commerce Blvd and his vehicle became disabled near the intersection of Commerce and Golf Course Drive. Gebhardt fled from his car on foot under the freeway towards the Good Nite Inn. The deputy retrieved his canine “Mako,” a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois from his patrol car and yelled a warning to Gebhardt to stop running or the canine would be used. When Gebhardt continued running the deputy sent Mako, who quickly closed the gap and was able to take down Gebhardt by biting his foot and arm. Deputies were able to subdue and take Gebhardt into custody without incident shortly thereafter.
Sheriff’s Detectives then served the search warrant on Gebhardt’s car and located large sums of cash, heroin, methamphetamine, prescriptions medications and a loaded handgun under the driver’s seat. Being a convicted felon, Gebhardt is not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.
Gebhardt was ultimately booked for a number of felony weapons charges, possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed, evading and resisting arrest. He has since been released from custody after posting a $50,000 bail bond.