Santa Rosa Man Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Stab Caretaker, Police Officer
Above: Stock Image
Originally published 9-21-23
by the Santa Rosa Police Department:
“On Wednesday, 9/20/23 at approximately 8:20 pm, officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department were dispatched to a residence in the 1000-block of Gordon Lane to investigate a report of an attempted stabbing. When officers arrived at the home, they learned the suspect, John Jennings, a 71-year-old male, attempted to stab a caretaker with a kitchen knife. Though the victim was able to leave the residence and call 9-1-1, Jennings was believed to still be armed with the knife while in the home with numerous other residents. The residence is a mental health group home for adults, and officers were told none of the other residents had the ability to lock themselves in rooms away from Jennings or were aware they should leave the residence for safety. Because of the exigency of the situation, officers immediately entered the residence to locate and contain Jennings to prevent him from attempting to stab anyone else.
Officers were directed to Jennings’ bedroom which was located off of a narrow hallway. Because the officers did not know if Jennings was alone in the bedroom, they opened the bedroom door to better assess the situation. When the door opened, the officers saw Jennings standing inside of the room immediately to the right of the door. Jennings’ roommate was also in the room, uninjured and lying on his bed. The suspect raised a knife over his head and began advancing toward one of the officers, who was less than 1-foot away. Though the officer was holding his department issued firearm in a “low ready” position, he was able to quickly step backward, point his firearm at Jennings and give commands. This provided another officer the opportunity to use a less-lethal weapon option to attempt to disarm and detain Jennings.
The second officer deployed a conducted energy weapon (CEW), commonly referred to by its brand name of “Taser”, which temporarily disabled the suspect. Prior to officers being able to safely approach Jennings, he attempted to retreat further into the room and did not immediately comply with instructions to drop the knife. The officer deployed the CEW a second time. Jennings became incapacitated, allowing officers a few brief moments in which they were able to safely disarm and detain the suspect in handcuffs.
Based on the officers’ investigation, they believed it was the suspect’s intent to stab the victim and one of the officers. Fortunately, no one was injured during this incident.
Jennings was arrested and booked into county jail for the following felony offenses:
245(a)(1) PC: Assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm
245(c) PC: Assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, on a police officer
SRPD case number 23-11905.
Sgt. Patricia Seffens