Original article no longer available
CBS San Francisco Bay area
April 2, 2007
SANTA ROSA An hour-long rooftop standoff Saturday ended in the safe capture of a man suspected of breaking down a door and assaulting a woman inside a residence, Santa Rosa police reported Sunday.
Police first responded to a report of suspected domestic violence at 5:25 p.m. after a neighbor called to report that a woman had run out of the residence at 121 Mera Court with blood streaming from her head, police reported.
As officers were arriving, they were informed that the male suspect possibly had a butcher knife and was allegedly “agitated on Prozac,” police reported.
Officers then saw the man, who was later identified as 26-year-old Ralph Egan Thurston, climb out a window onto the roof of the residence.
Thurston told officers he had a handgun in his waistband and appeared highly agitated, police reported.
As officers attempted to engage him in conversation, he reportedly reached behind his back several times while telling officers to back away.
He also reportedly told officers that he didn’t want to return to prison.
Officers called in the department’s SWAT team and hostage negotiation team as fire and ambulance personnel remained nearby in case they were needed.
Meanwhile, one officer continued to talk to Thurston, trying to convince him to come down from the roof and turn himself in.
At about 6:30 p.m., Thurston climbed back through the window and re-entered the residence where police arrested him.
Inside the residence, officers found evidence to suggest that the bedroom door had been broken down.
They also reported finding a large amount of blood in the home.
Thurston was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon, police reported.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sex Crimes and Family Violence Investigations department at (707) 543-3595.
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