Olympus Pereira – 2011 image from Facebook.
PETALUMA – According to a Community Bulletin issued by the Petaluma Police Department, a motorcycle officer was rammed by a vehicle during a pursuit into Santa Rosa.
On Tuesday, November 3rd shortly before 6 pm, the PPD officer was travelling northbound on Highway 101 when he noticed a Cadillac in the number one lane weaving within the lane. The Cadillac then abruptly crossed into the number three lane without signaling, causing numerous vehicles to brake in order to avoid collisions. Officer Paul Accornero activated the emergency lights on his Harley Davidson and attempted a traffic enforcement stop, but the driver of the Cadillac did not yield.
The Cadillac exited Highway 101 onto Highway 12 and continued westbound. The driver began to slow as if to stop at the exit onto South E Street. The traffic on South E was stopped at a red signal, but the driver ran the light and traveled northbound through a residential area at excessive speeds, sometimes driving on the wrong side of the roadway in an attempt to flee. Several cars were forced to evade the Cadillac’s path to avoid collisions.
Officer Accornero broadcasted to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Main Channel for assistance while pursuing the car onto Maple Avenue. The Cadillac travelled past the eastbound Highway 12 onramp, when it suddenly veered to the left and entered westbound Highway 12 and reached 80 miles per hour. As the driver traveled westbound he quickly turned to the right and took the Stony Point Road exit. As he approached stopped traffic at the intersection, he opened the driver side door as if to run from the vehicle, but he again accelerated and attempted to drive between two cars stopped in heavy traffic.
The driver of the Cadillac collided with two vehicles and then became wedged between them, appearing to be trapped. Officer Accornero was stopped about 20 feet behind the Cadillac and gave orders to the driver. The Cadillac then accelerated in reverse and rammed Officer Accornero’s motorcycle at approximately 15 miles per hour. Despite being pushed backwards several feet while on the motorcycle, Officer Accornero was able to maintain his balance and remain upright. The Cadillac again lurched forward, and again collided with the same two vehicles, but this time pushing them out of the way in order to flee. The driver then made a right turn onto Stony Point Road, colliding with a third vehicle. The driver of that third car left the scene before being contacted by authorities.
The Cadillac stopped in the northbound lanes of Stony Point Road in front of the CVS Shopping Center, and the driver left the car and ran westbound toward the shopping center. Officer Accornero continued his pursuit of the man, and eventually corralled him on the west end of the center, north of the CVS store, where he took the suspect into custody at gunpoint. The man then complied with the officer’s commands.
The reckless driver of the Cadillac was identified as Olympus Pereira, a 22-year-old man from Graton. After handcuffing the suspect, Officer Accornero searched Periera and located a fully loaded Ruger .45 caliber magazine and 13 bindles of cocaine. Pereira was asked where the firearm was, but he declined to comment.
Periera was being taken into custody as backup units arrived from Santa Rosa PD, CHP and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. It was then discovered that a female, who had been a passenger in Pereira’s Cadillac, had taken the opportunity to drive away from the scene on Stony Point Road; witnesses reported that the Cadillac left the scene northbound. Authorities are asking the public’s assistance in locating the white 2003 Cadillac CTS 4-door sedan with some damage to all sides, license plate 7BMG979. Anyone seeing this vehicle is encouraged to call 911 or their local police agency.
Periera was also found to be on active parole for a past conviction of assault with a deadly weapon.
When he was just 18, on September 14, 2011, Pereira was caught stealing a pickup truck from a winery in Windsor. He was charged with vehicle theft and possession of stolen property. Less than two months later he was arrested again, for street terrorism, carrying a concealed and loaded firearm, and resisting arrest.
He made the news again in February 2012, when he and two fellow gang members, Alejandro Guadarrama and Armando Monter, were at Steelhead Beach Regional Park along the Russian River in Forestville, just west of Santa Rosa. According to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, the three young men were at the beach on Sunday, April 22 at around 6 pm, while hundreds of people, including families with children, were gathered there. The three violently assaulted two victims using their fists, feet, and bottles, inflicting serious injuries to their heads and faces, while yelling gang related slogans. All three were convicted of felony assault with gang enhancements.
When Pereira was arrested Tuesday night, he was booked into the Sonoma County Jail once again, this time for felony evading a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance for sale, being a felon in possession of ammunition, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and a parole violation. All vehicles involved sustained minor to moderate damage from Periera’s vehicle. But only Officer Accornero sustained a minor injury, which did not require medical treatment.