California

He hid under a house and vowed to kill cops, police say. Then they got out a saw

Officers cut a hole in the floor of a Santa Rosa, Calif., home on Wednesday to reach a fugitive hiding under the home.
Officers cut a hole in the floor of a Santa Rosa, Calif., home on Wednesday to reach a fugitive hiding under the home. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department

First, deputies ordered Steven Molina to come out from his hiding spot under a California house. Next, they called in a police dog. Then, SWAT officers and a hostage negotiator arrived.

Finally, the police got a saw.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department deputies had originally come to the Santa Rosa home at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday looking for a wanted man and heard a commotion underneath the house. A deputy peered into a crawlspace vent and spotted Molina, 47, of Petaluma, and Jessica Ybarra, 30, of Santa Rosa, hiding under the house, reported The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Molina had a $30,000 warrant out for his arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, while Ybarra had a $50,000 warrant for her arrest on vehicle theft and drug charges, deputies told the publication. When officers told the two to come out, Ybarra emerged, but Molina crawled farther under the house.

Molina threatened to kill the deputies, a police K-9 and himself, reported The San Francisco Chronicle. Occupants of the home told deputies Molina had been carrying a knife when he fled under the house.

“Based on his threats and his ability to carry them out, the Sheriff’s SWAT Team and hostage negotiators responded to the home and attempted to get him to come out,” Sgt. Spencer Crum said in a statement, reported the publication. Molina refused to come out or negotiate, however.

About 7 a.m., SWAT officers cut a hole in the home’s floor above Molina and took him into custody after a short fight, deputies told the Press Democrat.

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