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Thrill Seeker Arrested After Hopping Onto Sonoma County Fire Engine

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SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A Santa Rosa man who hopped onto the back of a fire engine responding to an emergency call was arrested by the California Highway Patrol Tuesday.

Three Rincon Valley Fire Protection District firefighters were shopping at Trader Joe’s in the Santa Rosa Marketplace around 11:30 a.m. when they were dispatched to a call about an unconscious woman in downtown Santa Rosa, Fire Capt. Mark Dunn said.

Jesus Christian Alvarez, 19, of Santa Rosa, apparently decided he wanted to go along for the ride, and unbeknownst to the fire crew, hopped on the back of the fire engine’s two-foot wide tailboard in the market’s parking lot.

As the fire engine drove 55-60 mph on northbound U.S. Highway 101 near Baker Avenue, the driver of a northbound pickup pulled up on the left side of the fire engine began waving his arms and shouting at the crew to pull over, Dunn said.

Dunn said firefighters thought he was trying to report a fire or accident, but the driver was shouting about someone riding on the back of the fire engine.

“We didn’t believe it. We thought he was messing with us but we had to take it seriously so we pulled over,” Dunn said.

That’s when they discovered Alvarez, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt and wearing headphones connected to his iPod, “laughing and having a good time,” Dunn said.

“He said he couldn’t help himself, that he wasn’t thinking and he mentioned riding in James Bond style,” Dunn said.

Alvarez didn’t appear high or intoxicated and wasn’t a danger to the fire crew, Dunn said.

“We assume he held onto the handles we use or the hose that was hanging out the back,” Dunn said.

Alvarez’s stunt did prevent the firefighters from responding with the Santa Rosa Fire Department to the call about an unconscious woman on Brookwood Avenue, and Dunn said he told Alvarez he would probably be arrested.

The California Highway Patrol obliged. Alvarez was arrested for interfering with the lawful duties of a fireman and riding on the outside of a vehicle, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

“When we got back to Trader Joe’s, people were asking what happened to the guy who was riding on the back of the fire engine,” Dunn said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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