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Man dies in custody

August 9, 2019

A man died shortly after being handcuffed by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy. The call came in at about 6:41 p.m. A neighbor in the area of Sonoma Mountain Rd. and Adobe Rd outside Petaluma reported that a man had been in a grey or tan GMC SUV on his neighbor’s property for the past two days. The caller said the man appeared to be homeless and refused to leave the property. 

A Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy and a deputy in training responded to the call and contacted the man. The man was detained without incident when deputies spotted drug paraphernalia in the car. The man went limp, became unresponsive and appeared to be in medical distress. The deputies called for an ambulance, administered Narcan (a powerful drug that quickly reverses the effect of opiate use) and then began life saving efforts. 

Despite all efforts, the man died at the scene. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office invoked the countywide protocol involving deaths that occur in law enforcement custody and the Petaluma Police Department, along with the Sonoma County DA’s Office responded to take over the investigation. 

The man’s identity is not being released at this time. All future press information will be released from the Petaluma Police Department.