Criminal proceedings were suspended this afternoon against a Sonoma man charged with the attempted shooting murder of a sheriff’s deputy last weekend pending a mental competence evaluation.
Ryan Joseph Pritel, 20, was arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court. A doctor’s preliminary exam Wednesday questioned whether Pritel is mentally competent to understand and participate in the legal proceedings, and Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite ordered another evaluation by a doctor and suspended further proceedings.
Pritel is charged with attempted murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon and having a loaded gun in public.
He brought a 9mm handgun to the Jolly Roger gas station and car wash at 19249 state Highway 12 in Sonoma on Sunday where he worked, his attorney Sonoma County Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi said.
When Sonoma police responded around 11 a.m., Pritel allegedly fired a round that struck Deputy Mike Matelli in the chest, according to Santa Rosa police, the agency investigating the case. Matelli’s was flown by helicopter to the hospital.
The handgun contained 9mm full metal-jacketed rounds and 9mm “snake shot” rounds comprised of pellets. Matelli was struck by the snake shot, police said.
Matelli fired two shots at Pritel. The suspect quickly hid behind a stopped pickup truck, and both deputy’s rounds struck the truck. No one was injured by the deputy’s bullets.
Seventeen witnesses and three deputies were interviewed during the investigation. A body camera footage, and surveillance footage, were also reviewed. Authorities said the evidence demonstrates that pulled a loaded 9 MM handgun from his waistband as the three uniformed deputies approached him. Pritel fired one gunshot, and struck one of the approaching deputies in the upper body. The deputy, who was struck by the round,
The 9 MM handgun that Pritel fired had a high capacity 20-round magazine, according to investigators. The magazine was loaded with a combination of 9 MM full metal jacketed rounds and 9 MM snake rounds. The suspect had a second loaded magazine in his pant’s pocket that contained a combination of the same rounds.
Matelli, a six-year veteran, was flown to a hospital for the treatment of multiple wounds. He has since been released.
Two other deputies who responded to the scene are Sheriff’s Deputies Greg Hals and Mike Schemmel. All three deputies are assigned to the Sonoma Police Department and are now on paid administrative leave.
Pozzi said she believes Pritel suffers from a mental health disorder. The doctor’s report is due June 7 and a hearing on Pritel’s competence is scheduled for June 13. He is being held in Sonoma County Jail under $1 million bail.
– Bay City News