The man charged with tossing an explosive device under a sheriff’s patrol car in Guerneville this summer was sentenced to three years probation last week and given nearly a year in jail.
Tristan Proto, 22, pleaded no contest to the charge that he exploded the M-80 (a large firecracker) under a sheriff’s car parked in front of the Guerneville Safeway store.
Proto was apprehended by an off-duty policeman in the vicinity of the explosion that shook downtown Guerneville just before noon on August 3.
“Mr. Proto’s reckless actions terrified the Guerneville community,” said Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch in a media announcement of the sentencing. “I am grateful that no one was injured during the incident. Mr. Proto was remorseful for his actions, and I am hopeful he will make better decisions in the future.”
Proto had been using drugs and alcohol and had an M-80 explosive device in his back pack when he was walking by a Sheriff’s Department patrol vehicle, said the District Attorney’s media statement.
“Mr. Proto decided to light the explosive device and threw it under the patrol car. The resulting explosion was so loud and powerful it shook the windows of a nearby store causing panic.”
Proto was quickly apprehended by the off-duty police officer from Vallejo and a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy, who responded to assist and took Proto into custody. A sheriff’s office bomb squad closed off the Safeway parking lot after the explosion.
“Mr. Proto acknowledged his involvement in the event but stated early on he never intended to hurt anyone. He stated he specifically made sure the patrol car was unoccupied before igniting the M-80,” said the D.A.’s office press release. “Mr. Proto suffers from mental health issues as well as utilizing drugs and alcohol.”
Proto underwent a mental competency examination in connection with the charges and was found mentally competent by a court-appointed forensic clinical psychologist, Dr. Sabrina Correa, according to court records.
Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite on Friday sentenced Proto to 360 days in jail and said he’ll be released to a drug treatment program.
Proto will be monitored by the probation department and, under the terms of his probation, is not allowed to return to the Safeway store nor is he permitted to possess any explosive device or fireworks.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Troye Shaffer. Deputies from the Guerneville substation and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad headed the investigation, said the D.A. Detectives with the Violent Crimes Investigation Unit also assisted with the investigation.