Handcuffed Sonoma man escapes from patrol car, turns himself in hours later

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A Sonoma man eluded deputies early Thursday morning after he managed to escape from a patrol car and jump over fences into nearby yards, a sheriff’s officials reported.

The man, 21-year-old Dominic Gates, turned himself in at the Sheriff’s Office Sonoma Valley substation later that morning and was booked on suspicion of public intoxication and escape from custody.

Deputies came into contact with Gates after being sent to a reported disturbance at a Chevron gas station in the 500 block of West Napa Street at 12:30 a.m.

Gates was handcuffed after deputies determined he was intoxicated. A deputy drove him to the substation, leaving him alone in the car while picking up paperwork. During that time, Gates was able to slip his thin arms to the front of his body and through bars fixed onto the patrol car windows. He unlatched the door to let himself out of the vehicle, catching the deputy’s attention as he slammed the car door shut before fleeing on foot, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The deputy last saw him jumping over nearby fences. Authorities established a perimeter around the neighborhood and called a helicopter to help in the search. It was called off when Gates could not be found.

Gates returned to the substation with the handcuffs still on at about 6:45 a.m. and was booked into jail.

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