A suspected carjacker fled law enforcement on foot this afternoon in Hopland resulting in an extended manhunt prompting multiple agencies to converge working to track down the suspect.
Residents in the area have been asked to shelter in the place while the manhunt is underway.
A Nixle Alert issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office described the suspect as a white male adult, approximately 6′, 195 pounds, with brown hair, and brown eyes, who was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans. He reportedly was carrying “a large knife and an unknown object in his other hand.”
Scanner traffic indicates the incident began around 4:05 p.m. when the suspect was located near the 13000 block of Highway 101 approximately 500 yards north of Hopland’s Antique store and took off on foot east towards the valley floor.
Officials have deployed a drone, an aircraft is overhead, and K9s are being used to comb the vineyards, creekbeds, and brush interspersed throughout Sanel Valley. There were sightings of the suspect in the area of Highway 175 and McDowell Road.
Law enforcement has established a perimeter ranging east to Old Hopland and south to Highway 175. Personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Hopland Fire, and CAL FIRE are in the area.
UPDATE 6:09 p.m.: Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told us the manhunt continues as the sun sets and he would like residents in the area to hunker down and be on the lookout for anyone that could be taking shelter in outbuildings on their property. He suggested everyone lock their vehicles.
UPDATE 7:39 p.m.: As per Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall, the search continues. Officers are still patrolling the Hopland Valley for any sign of the suspect, described as a 6’ 5” white male adult wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. He requests residents remain sheltered in place and continue to be aware of surrounding areas. He specified area residents to be mindful of motion lights, barking dogs, and any other indications someone could be in the immediate area.
There is a strong possibility the suspect had to cross the Russian River this afternoon as he fled officers meaning he could be soaking wet as darkness descends and forecasts place tonight’s low at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
UPDATE 10:18 p.m.: As per a Nixle Alert issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the shelter-in-place has been lifted and law enforcement is no longer in the Hopland area. At this point, the suspect is still outstanding. The Sheriff’s Office asks the “public to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”
Please remember that this story is unfolding. Information is being reported as we gather it. However, some of the information coming from witnesses and initial official reports could be wrong. We will do our best to get the facts but, in the case that something is inaccurate, we will update with correct information as soon as we can.