Sonoma County Sheriff warms female solo drivers

February 20, 2009 1:38:20 PM PST
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department is again warning women driving alone about a male driver who tries to pull them over on rural roads.

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Previous occurrences were reported in November in the Sonoma Valley area and in December in Rincon Valley area.

Three more incidents were reported north of Santa Rosa between Jan. 6 and Feb. 12, the sheriff's department said. Authorities issued a safety alert about them Thursday.

Those incidents happened in the Calistoga and Porter Creek roads area of the county between 6:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. On two occasions, the male motorist was tailgating the women and flashed his headlights to get them to pull over, Sgt. Dave Thompson said.

One woman did pull over and the man told her to call 911 to report a motorcycle accident. He then tried to open the woman's car door but she drove away.

In the third incident, a white male jumped from a hillside and lay next to the roadway as a female motorist passed by. A suspicious vehicle was parked nearby, Thompson said.

The suspect in the Bennett Valley Road incident in Rincon Valley on Nov. 18 approached the woman's car with the neck of his shirt pulled over his nose.

He told the female driver to call 911 because there had been a motorcycle accident. The woman dialed her cell phone and the suspect told her to hang up. He then committed sexual battery on her, the sheriff's department said.

In the Dec. 4 incident at Bennett Valley and Enterprise roads in Santa Rosa, a woman said a man driving a dark-colored sedan pulled alongside her and tried to get her to stop.

When she stopped, the man, dressed in dark clothing and a hooded sweatshirt and ski mask, approached her car. The woman sped away and called 911.

Thompson said descriptions of the suspect, possibly a white male, are limited, but the man covered his face with either a bandana or turtleneck-type sweater.

Descriptions of the suspect vehicle vary from a blue sedan, possibly with a spoiler, to a black sport utility vehicle, Thompson said.

The sheriff's department is urging motorists not to stop for anyone on a rural roadway, especially at night, and to drive to a well-lit and populated area and call 911 or the sheriff's department at (707) 565-2121.

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