It started with a Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy checking out a van parked on the side of the road, and ended with a chase, crash, 2 arrests and a missing dog.
Last night, Monday, January 12 at about 10:19 pm, the deputy was patrolling the River Road as it passes through Guerneville and the famous Korbel Champagne Cellars. Korbel produces the most popular sparkling Champagne wine in the US, in an area known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their wine tasting room would have been closed since 5:00 pm. According to the Sonoma Sheriff’s office, the deputy spotted a white van pulled over on the side of the road, and he pulled over to investigate.
The deputy found a man in the driver’s seat, a woman passed out in the passenger seat, and a dog. The driver handed over his license, and told the deputy he was on felony probation, and may have an outstanding warrant. He was identified as 24-year-old Elliot Francis Malone.
Malone had been arrested on September 19 in central Petaluma on charges of possession of marijuana and concentrated cannabis, possession for sale, and a violation of a court order. He was also charged with a probation violation, and had a warrant for assault likely to cause great bodily injury.
After being surprised by the deputy approaching, Malone apparently gathered his senses, and rather than being taken into custody for his warrant, he started up the van while the deputy was calling in his ID, and made a run for it down River Road. The deputy quickly gave chase, turning on the lights and siren as Malone drove down the highway reaching 50 miles per hour. While the deputy informed dispatch he was in a pursuit, Malone did not go too far, and after about 2 miles, pulled over near the River Bend Campground. He stepped out of the van, apparently giving up as the deputy, and other units arrived. Meanwhile, central dispatch confirmed Malone’s outstanding no-bail warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.
Once again, as the deputies approached, Malone jumped back in the van and took off, headed further down River Road and approaching the town of Forestville. Deputies reported seeing him swerving over the double yellow lines as he headed down the road, fortunately with very little traffic at that time of night. By this time he had no doubt woken his companion, later identified as Alisha Raquel Ratts, a 28-year-old woman with her own history with the law.
Alisha Ratts had been in the Roseville Jail last September, in the greater Sacramento area. When she was released on September 19, she walked across the street to the Placer County SPCA office and tried to steal a laptop computer, When confronted, the computer was dropped and damaged, and she fought with officers when they arrested her again. A week later, in Colusa County, she was charged with vandalism and trespassing in the town of Maxwell, near the small town’s water tower.
A few days after that, Ratts was picked up in Kelseyville by Lake County Sheriff’s deputies for being under the influence of a controlled substance and giving false information to officers. Always moving around, Ratts was next arrested by Dixon police in Solano County on charges of resisting and obstructing police officers. Perhaps coincidentally, she was arrested at North Adams and West A Street, right near that town’s water tower. Back in Lake County, in the town of Nice along the northern shore of Clear Lake, she was arrested on December 20 for disorderly conduct, being under the influence of alcohol, and public intoxication. She had been sent there the day before by Santa Rosa Police, who arrested her on the outstanding warrant from Lake County.
So with Alisha awake and the deputies in pursuit, Elliot Malone continued driving recklessly into Forestville, and got a flat tire as he reached Mirabel Road. That didn’t stop him, but it slowed him down. A couple miles further on, as he reached Trenton-Healdsburg Road, one of the deputies forced him off the road with a patrol car maneuver. The van spun around, and crashed into the dirt embankment. Malone and his dog jumped out and ran away.
Alisha Ratts, quite intoxicated and suffering a minor injury from the crash, was not too happy about being detained by the deputies. Meanwhile the deputies, with help from a Sheriff’s K9, officers from the Windsor Police, and a CHP helicopter, began to search the forest for Malone. It took about an hour, but he was located while trying to hide in some heavy brush. No word on what happened to Malone’s dog.
Malone was arrested on charges of recklessly evading arrest and obstructing a peace officer, along with his outstanding warrant. His bail was set at $20,000 and is scheduled for court tomorrow, January 14. Ratts was charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Her bail was $1,000 and she is scheduled to appear tomorrow morning. If they miss the court date, there will be fresh warrants to go around.