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A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP

January 4, 2019

An early morning traffic stop ultimately led to a woman locking herself in a car and threatening suicide with a knife.  Sat. at 1:45 a.m., a deputy stopped two women in a small SUV at a Valero gas station located at 6301 Commerce Blvd. in Rohnert Park.  The deputy arrested the driver, Tara Schober, 45, of Santa Rosa, for having in possession drug paraphernalia.  Before being transported to jail, Schober asked that her car be turned over to her passenger. The deputy then drove her to jail. During the booking process, Sheriff’s Office employees learned Schober had certain medical conditions. The arresting deputy decided to issue her a citation to appear in court instead of booking her into jail.  After issuing the citation, the deputy then drove Schober back to the Valero gas station. They arrived at the gas station at about 4:25 a.m., Schober walked over to her car and saw the passenger sitting in the driver’s seat of the locked car with a knife to her neck, making suicidal statements.  The folding knife was approximately four to six inches long. Several Sheriff’s Office deputies and officers from the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety responded to assist.  Rohnert Park Department of Public safety also requested an officer from their department who is trained in crisis intervention to respond before they talked to her. Over the next several hours, law enforcement talked with the woman and tried to convince her to put down the knife and come out of the car, but were unsuccessful. At 8:30 a.m., the Sheriff’s Negotiation Team was called in to take over the crisis negotiations. One of the Negotiation Team members who responded is a clinical psychologist.  Several members of the Sheriff’s SWAT Team were also called to the scene in case they needed to rescue the woman from hurting herself.  The Negotiation Team kept trying to convince the woman to put down the knife and come out of the car, but was unsuccessful. After approximately 10 hours, including nearly six hours with the negotiation team, the psychologist determined the woman would not give up.  The Sheriff’s Office and partner law enforcement agencies could not leave the woman there, in a public place, because she was potentially dangerous to other people in the area.  The woman was warned several times that she would be removed from the car if she didn’t give up.  At 2:17 p.m., the SWAT team used flash bang devices to break the car windows and disorient the woman, allowing them to get into the car.  The woman was not compliant and armed with a knife, so they used a Taser to subdue her and take the knife away without the woman hurting herself, deputies, or anyone else.  The woman was transported by ambulance to the Crisis Stabilization Unit so mental health professionals could evaluate and treat her.  She was not arrested.