Police pursuit into Sonoma County, 1 arrested

A CHP pursuit from Mendocino County into Sonoma County late Monday night ended on the side of Highway 101 near Cloverdale with an arrest after a standoff involving a man pretending to be armed and several officers with guns drawn, according to the CHP.

Dennis Tober, 68, yelled at officers that he had a handgun and wanted them to shoot him, in an apparent attempt at “suicide by cop,” CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

The standoff forced the closure of southbound lanes at South Cloverdale Boulevard for about 45 minutes while multiple officers tried to talk Tober into giving up as he yelled at officers that he had a handgun and kept one hand inside his jacket, acting as if he was armed, Sloat said. At one point an officer fired bean bag rounds at him, striking him three times, but his thick clothing shielded him from the full brunt of the impact, Sloat said.

A CHP officer initially stopped the southbound driver about 10:30 p.m. for speeding and possible drunken driving near Redwood Valley, north of Ukiah. The driver paused briefly before taking off, pursued by two officers as he headed south into Sonoma County at speeds ranging from 35 to 75 mph. Officers were alerted that the driver, Tober, owned a handgun and was wanted on two felony warrants, the CHP said.

South of the chase, CHP officers set out spike strips near Cloverdale. Tober’s Ford Ranger ran over the spikes, flattening his two front tires and he was forced to stop, pulling over near Dutcher Creek Road about 11:15 p.m.

Sonoma County sheriff’s hostage negotiator Detective Brent Kidder eventually distracted Tober, allowing officers to take the man into custody about 1 a.m.

Tober was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, resisting arrest and evading officers and the warrants.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707-521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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