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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Man Who Threw an Explosive Device Under a Patrol Car Was Sentenced to Probation

Santa Rosa, CA  –  December 7, 2018  –  Defendant Tristan Avery Proto, 22 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced today by the Honorable Jamie E. Thistlethwaite to three years of formal probation and 360 days of country jail after having pled guilty to one felony count of possessing an explosive device (Health and Safety Code section 12035) in November.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Mr. Proto’s reckless actions terrified the Guerneville community. 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.”

The charge resulted from an incident that occurred on August 3, 2018, when Mr. Proto was walking by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department patrol vehicle. Mr. Proto had been using drugs and alcohol that day and also had an M80 explosive device in his back pack. 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.

Mr. Proto was quickly apprehended by an off duty police officer. A Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy quickly responded to assist and took Mr. Proto into custody. 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.

Mr. Proto suffers from mental health issues as well as utilizing drugs and alcohol. Mr. Proto’s was sentenced today to a total of 360 days in jail, and will be released to drug treatment. Mr. Proto was placed on three years of formal supervised probation and will be monitored by the probation department. Mr. Proto is not allowed to return to the store where this occurred nor is he permitted to possess any explosive device or firework.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Troye K. Shaffer. Deputies from the Guerneville substation and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad headed the investigation. Detectives with the Violent Crimes Investigation Unit also assisted with the investigation.


Contact Information

Brandon Gilbert
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273