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Santa Rosa man arrested on suspicion of DUI, reckless driving after tailgating deputy

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A Santa Rosa man suspected of driving under the influence of drugs was arrested Wednesday night after tailgating a Sonoma County deputy on Highway 101, authorities said.

The deputy was driving south on Highway 101 at Todd Road with his K-9 partner, Max, at 7:26 p.m., when he noticed a black Toyota Yaris driving alongside of him, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Juan Valencia said in a news release Thursday. When the deputy sped up to 85 mph, the driver of the Toyota — identified as 20-year-old Jake Butler — moved behind the patrol car, tailgating the deputy and shadowing his driving maneuvers.

The deputy tried to drive his car around the Toyota to pull over Butler. Around that time, though, another car side-swiped him, causing minor damage to the patrol car. That driver pulled over briefly but then drove away.

The deputy turned on his lights and siren, prompting Butler to pull over near the brake check station on the Cotati grade. But Valencia said in the release that Butler began acting strangely after he was pulled over — he was screaming and wouldn’t follow the deputy’s orders. He lunged out of the driver’s window all the way to his waist and then reentered the car. He repeatedly flung the car door open and shut.

CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies arrived to assist because the deputy was concerned by Butler’s “erratic” behavior, Valencia said in the release.

Eventually, Butler exited the car and the deputy told him that Max would bite him if he continued to ignore orders. Butler then reached under the car and started crawling underneath it. The deputy used Max to de-escalate the situation — Max bit Butler on the calf and ankle.

Butler grabbed the dog’s snout and tried to pry his mouth open, but officers were able to arrest him. He later was transported to a local hospital where his injuries were treated before he was released into custody. Neither the deputy nor Max were injured in the altercation.

Butler, who was smoking an unknown substance when he was pulled over, was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving and resisting arrest. Valencia said in an email that officers are waiting for a toxicology report to determine the type of drugs they suspect Butler was using.

Butler is in custody, being held on $10,000 bail.

You can reach Staff Writer Chantelle Lee at 707-521-5337 or chantelle.lee@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ChantelleHLee.

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