Crime, Fire + Courts

Yolo deputy fires weapon during pursuit incident

By From page A1 | January 07, 2014

A Yolo County sheriff’s deputy fired two shots at a vehicle whose armed driver rammed the deputy’s patrol car following a high-speed pursuit Sunday night, according to reports.

No one was injured during the incident, which ended with the suspect — identified as 28-year-old John August Schroiff, a transient — being jailed on multiple assault and weapon-related charges, sheriff’s spokesman Mark Persons said.

The deputy, a 15-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department whose name was not released, has been placed on a three-day administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the shooting.

“Anytime there’s a shooting there’s an internal investigation. That’s usual procedure,” Persons said.

Persons gave the following account of the incident:

The deputy was patrolling northbound Interstate 5 in Woodland at about 8:20 p.m. Sunday when he attempted to stop a northbound vehicle for unspecified traffic violations.

“The vehicle not only failed to stop, (but) accelerated to speeds of more than 110 mph” while weaving in and out of traffic on the freeway, Persons said in a news release. “The deputy continued to pursue the suspect vehicle, using lights and siren, until he lost sight of it south of the town of Dunnigan. The deputy then terminated the pursuit.”

Minutes later, however, the deputy spotted the car making a U-turn on County Road 8 west of the freeway and activated his emergency lights. At that point the suspect allegedly drove toward the patrol car while pointing a gun at the officer, then rammed the occupied vehicle before continuing eastbound on Road 8.

“Believing the suspect presented imminent danger to the public, the deputy fired two rounds, striking the suspect vehicle,” Persons said. The suspect abandoned his vehicle behind a nearby truck stop and fled on foot onto I-5, but was soon apprehended by two California Highway Patrol officers, who held him at gunpoint until the deputy could take him into custody.

It was at that point authorities determined that Schroiff had not sustained any gunshot wounds, Persons said. A handgun believed to have been used by him was found between the truck stop and the arrest scene.

Schroiff is being held in lieu of $260,000 bail at the Yolo County Jail, where Persons said he faces charges including assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a firearm on a peace officer, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and felony evading. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Yolo Superior Court.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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