SONOMA COUNTY – On September 27, 2019, a California State Park ranger immediately recovered a loaded pistol that a pursuit suspect threw from his motorcycle as he fled from pursing Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
The 35-minute pursuit ended when the suspect’s motorcycle had mechanical failures and he was taken into custody. He is identified as Michael Greene, 44, of Santa Rosa.
“Finding a weapon tossed by a pursuit suspect, or any suspect for that matter, is imperative to public safety,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “The California State Parks ranger’s action in quickly recovering the loaded firearm, kept that weapon from getting into someone else’s hands. The recovery of that weapon protected the lives of officers and civilians, alike.”
Deputies first became aware of illegal activity allegedly involving Greene and a female suspect earlier in the day. At about 9:50 a.m., deputies, along with officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) responded to an area in Sebastopol for a reported car theft and trespassing complaint. Two suspects, a male and a female, were trespassing and when told to leave by the property owner, began to steal a truck from an adjacent vineyard. The owner of the truck caught the female attempting to drive off the property in the truck and was able to stop her. Both suspects then fled the area on a motorcycle with an Oregon license plate. During the interaction at the truck, the male suspect made a motion during the incident that led the victim to believe the suspect had a gun behind his back. Both Greene and Camille Steele, 34, of Bodega Bay, were identified as the suspects in this incident, and deputies and officers were on the lookout for them.
Hours later, at approximately 2:30 p.m., deputies learned the two suspects were staying at a residence just north of Bodega Bay. Both suspects had felony arrest warrants unrelated to the earlier car theft. Deputies went to the area of the residence to look for the suspects and the motorcycle. Steele was arrested in the area of Portuguese Beach, Bodega Bay without incident. Greene was not located at the time.
At approximately 5:25 p.m., Greene was seen traveling on his motorcycle northbound on Highway 1 passing Coleman Beach. A deputy attempted to pull over the motorcycle when Greene began speeding away.
According to the sheriff’s department, as Greene continued to lead deputies on a pursuit westbound on Hwy 116 through Pocket Canyon, Greene pulled out a loaded pistol he had on him and threw it into the roadway as observed by a deputy immediately behind him. The gun was immediately recovered with the assistance of a California State Parks ranger and turned over to the sheriff’s office.
Greene resisted arrest when he dropped his motorcycle to the ground, but was quickly taken into custody at the scene.
Greene was arrested and booked or felony vehicle evasion, three felony weapons charges related to his being a previously convicted felon, a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, and felony conspiring to steal the truck from the morning incident. He was also booked for his outstanding felony arrest warrant out of Sonoma County.
Steele was arrested and booked for her outstanding felony warrant out of Marin County. She was, also, arrested her for the felony theft of the truck and conspiracy to commit that crime.