Photos: Man spends two days stuck in winery equipment; sheriff wants victim criminally charged

Golden Gate Media
A man spent two days stuck in a piece of winery equipment in Sonoma County, Calif.Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

A man spent 48-hours tightly wedged inside a piece of winery equipment in rural Sonoma County before an alert sheriff’s deputy finally came to his rescue.

The sheriff’s office released photos of the predicament and indicated the person who was rescued is no innocent victim.

“Hide and seek is a two-player game, at a minimum,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post. “Early this morning, the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of a suspicious vehicle parked on private property in the 2800 block of Piner Rd. A deputy responded and located the vehicle, but not the occupant. The vehicle was parked in a location that made no sense. The deputy saw a hat resting on a nearby piece of farm equipment and went over to investigate. The deputy found way more than the hat.”

The location where the deputy responded is located to the west of Santa Rosa in an unincorporated part of Sonoma County.

“The occupant of the vehicle had, inexplicably, decided to climb into the shaft of the vineyard fan and became completely stuck inside the shaft,” the sheriff’s office continued. “He had been stuck there for two days before we found him. The Fire Department responded and was able to extricate the man out of the fan shaft.”

Deputies interviewed the man after he was rescued to determine why he crawled into the shaft. His answers did not make sense.

“When interviewed, the man indicated he liked to take pictures of the engines of old farm equipment,” investigators wrote. “After a thorough investigation which revealed the farm equipment wasn’t antique and the man had far more methamphetamine than camera equipment, the motivation to climb into the fan shaft remains a total mystery.”
An alert Sonoma Co. Sheriff's Deputy found the victim in the piece of winery equipment Tuesday, June 8.Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

“We elected to not arrest him as he required medical treatment after his unintended multi-day stay in the fan shaft,” according to investigators. “The Sheriff’s Office will be recommending charges of trespassing and drug possession, as well as violations of both his probation case and the pending case for which he is currently out of custody on pre-trial release.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout the Bay Area are dealing with a huge spike in drug-related offenses.

San Francisco Police announced it had carried out three drug busts that netted guns, cash, and 30 pounds of illegal narcotics, including meth and fentanyl.

"The amount of fentanyl seized in this single operation is enough lethal overdoses to wipe out San Francisco's population four times over," said San Francisco Chief of Police Bill Scott. "Fentanyl remains the primary chemical culprit in the record-shattering number of fatal overdoses plaguing our City, and the recovery of semi-automatic ghost guns along with this haul of deadly drugs most likely intended for the Tenderloin is ominous. SFPD's Narcotics Detail and patrol officers have done heroic work in this operation and on the street every day to seize these deadly drugs and bring these increasingly dangerous drug dealers to justice.”

Sheriff’s officials in Sonoma County said had it not been for their alert deputy, the man who was stuck in the vineyard fan would likely have died.

“Lucky for this guy the citizen called in to report his vehicle, otherwise this story ends with a far more tragic outcome,” the sheriff’s office stated. "Instead he should make a full recovery and hopefully be wiser for the experience.”

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