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Path of debris leads to suspected hit-and-run driver in Petaluma

Alert witnesses and a trail of debris from an apparent vehicle collision led Petaluma police Sunday to the home of a suspected drunken driver who police said drove away from a wreck on a flattened tire.

Conner Zitelli, 21, of Petaluma was arrested about 1 p.m. outside his residence in the 100 block of Rancho Bonito Circle, Sgt. Marty Frye said.

The incident began when several people called police, reporting a white Nissan Pathfinder speeding recklessly on South Ely Boulevard.

The callers said the Nissan appeared to have been in an accident, had major damage to the driver's side and the right front tire was flat. Another caller said it had collided with a parked travel trailer.

Officers found an unoccupied trailer that was damaged, Frye said.

Officers then followed "a path of debris from the collision to" Rancho Bonito Circle, where they found a white Nissan Pathfinder in a driveway. The vehicle had major damage and the right front tire was missing.

Zitelli was standing next to the vehicle, but went inside when he saw police, Frye said. He came out of the residence a short time later and was arrested without incident.

Zitelli's blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, Frye said.

He was booked into Sonoma County Jail on charges of driving under the influence, hit and run and obstructing police. Bail was set at $10,000.


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