PETALUMA – Authorities from around Sonoma County joined two Petaluma police officers at The Rocks Bar early Tuesday morning, as they attempted to arrest a battery suspect while around 100 restive spectators, many intoxicated, gathered outside the downtown tavern.
Around 1:30 a.m. Dec. 14, the two Petaluma officers on vehicle patrol noticed the large crowd outside the Kentucky Street bar, where staff used Tasers on Timothy Traylor, 22, as they attempted to toss him from the establishment. The Sebastopol resident had climbed on the sound equipment, and then punched one of the security staff.
As the officers attempted to take Traylor into custody, he put up a fight. Traylor’s friend Kathleen Zanoline, 22, of Healdsburg, tried to stop the arrest. Other bar patrons moved toward the officers, who radioed for help from all on-duty police officers.
Some of the crowd verbally challenged the police. As one spectator approached a K-9 officer and his dog, a second officer tried to intervene and was bitten by the officer’s dog. He was taken to the hospital, treated and released.
Petaluma police then requested more officers, this time from other county departments. Twenty officers responded from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, Cotati and Rohnert police departments, and the California Highway Patrol. It took nearly one hour for law enforcement to disburse the crowd.
In the meantime, at Washington and Kentucky streets down the road from The Rocks, a sheriff’s deputy was backing up his patrol car with his emergency lights on when a pedestrian walked behind the car and was hit. Complaining of pain, the pedestrian was taken to the hospital.
Traylor was charged with battery, resisting arrest, and possession of methamphetamine found on him during the arrest. Zanoline, with a blood alcohol level of .19 percent – more than twice the legal limit – was charged with resisting arrest.
“The Petaluma Police Department has received over 50 calls for service at The Rocks in the past year,” said Petaluma police Lt. Tim Lyons. “The nature and frequency of the calls has become more serious over the past few months, with several fights, a stabbing and a robbery.”
In October, police officials met with the bar owners to discuss operational violations at the problematic business. Despite assurances from the owners to correct the violations, November brought more problems for The Rocks.
On Nov. 24, during a plainclothes operation by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Lyons said several physical altercations broke out in front of the bar. ABC investigators cited the bar with six administrative violations, while local police noted six city ordinance violations.
“The departments are jointly investigating the Dec. 14 incident and how this business is being operated,” Lyons added.