Crime - Sacto 911

Man who claimed he was seeing flying saucers convicted of carjacking

Photo illustration
Photo illustration

A man who reportedly told a deputy that he had snorted methamphetamine and was seeing flying saucers, has been convicted of of a 2015 carjacking in Yolo County.

A jury on Tuesday found Paul Dufrisne, 58, of Esparto guilty of carjacking and kidnapping during the carjacking, according to a Yolo County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Jurors also found that Dufrisne had three prior “strikes” under California’s three-strikes law for robbery, residential burglary and dissuading a witness. The verdict included two enhancements based on findings that Dufrisne is a “habitual criminal” and that he had two prior state prison commitments.

On June 2, 2015, a woman and her passenger were traveling from Plainfield Street in Esparto en route to work at Monsanto on Highway 16 outside of Woodland when Dufrisne stepped in front of the woman’s truck, forcing her to stop. Dufrisne put his hands on the hood, then went to the passenger side of the truck, pounded on the windows and tried to get inside, but the doors were locked.

The woman started to drive again, but Dufrisne hung onto the rearview mirror as the truck turned onto Yolo Avenue, the news release said.

The driver, out of fear, stopped the truck to roll down her window and yelled for help because she didn’t have a cellphone. But she mistakenly unlocked the doors and Dufrisne got in the truck.

He began yelling for the woman to drive. The woman and her passenger had difficulty understanding Dufrisne because their primary language is Spanish, but the driver could tell he was angry and drove to Highway 16 trying to find a way to get help, the news release said.

She attempted to turn into the Madison Migrant Camp, but Dufrisne grabbed the steering wheel, overpowering the driver and forcing the truck back onto Highway 16. He also stepped on the accelerator while the driver was stepping on the brake and announced that he was going to drive. About three-quarters of a mile down the road, the driver was able to stop the truck, and she and her passenger escaped with the help of other motorists.

Dufrisne also left the truck and ran through traffic on Highway 16, trying to stop other vehicles, the news release said.

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy saw the victims running from the truck and Dufrisne running through traffic. When Dufrisne stepped in front of an ambulance, the off-duty deputy approached him, fearing that Dufrisne was trying to carjack the ambulance.

Dufrisne ran from the deputy, and motorists helped the deputy capture and detain him.

Dufrisne told another deputy who arrived at the scene that he had snorted methamphetamine the night before, stating that he was seeing flying saucers and being chased, according to the news release.

Dufrisne pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and will be committed to the Department of State Hospitals upon sentencing. As a “three striker,” he could remain in a state hospital until his sanity is restored, or for up to 36 years to life, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy