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Petaluma police: Wrong-way driver flees, assaults officer

A 42-year-old Petaluma man spotted traveling against traffic on South McDowell Boulevard in the early hours of Saturday morning was arrested after a brief pursuit and a tussle with the arresting officer, authorities said.

Armando Rafael Afre was subdued with a Taser stun gun after he became physically assaultive toward the officer, Petaluma police said.

Afre came to the policeman's attention at 4:10 a.m. when he was spotted in a southbound Dodge Neon with the headlights off in the northbound lanes near Baywood Drive, police said.

It was later learned he was suspected of shoplifting several items from a nearby Safeway minutes earlier, police said.

The officer tried to stop the car, but the driver continued into a neighborhood of South McDowell, initiating a slow-speed pursuit.

Atre eventually pulled over at Beechwood Drive and Conifer Lane but refused to comply with orders, got out of his car and became combative, inflicting minor injuries on the officer, authorities said.

The officer and others who apparently came to help ultimately used a Taser stun gun, and impacts from a flashlight, to take Afre into custody.

He was arrested for suspected burglary, assault on an officer and taking part in a vehicle pursuit and was booked into the Sonoma County Jail, police said.

His bail was $15,000, authorities said.


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