General Crime

* Michael Albini Pleaded Not Guilty to Two Felony Weapons Charges After a Standoff with Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies

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A man involved in a standoff with Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies last week pleaded not guilty to two felony weapons charges this afternoon. Michael Albini, 48, of Santa Rosa, was arrested for terrorist threats, assault with a deadly weapon, using force or violence to resist arrest and negligent discharge of a firearm after a five-hour standoff Thursday on Bucks Road in unincorporated Sonoma County south of Santa Rosa. He was charged this afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court with discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and possessing a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor offense.

A preliminary hearing date will be set Tuesday morning. Sheriff’s deputies responded to 317 Buck Road at 5:45 p.m. after receiving reports from Albini’s roommate that gunshots were coming from inside the house, sheriff’s deputies said. Initial reports indicated that Albini was holding hostages inside the house. Sheriff’s deputies spoke with Albini from a bedroom window, but Albini refused to exit the home and began breaking items inside the house, Lt. Clint Shubel said. Sheriff’s deputies began evacuations of nearby homes and members of the SWAT team and the sheriff’s hostage negotiators team responded to the scene. Negotiators made phone contact with the alleged hostages and all the residents were safely evacuated from the house, except Albini, who refused to come out, Shubel said.

Negotiations with Albini continued for several hours and negotiators suspected Albini was becoming increasingly intoxicated. After about an hour without contact with Albini, a bomb squad unit maneuvered a remote-controlled robot into the house and located Albini lying near a bed, Shubel said. Albini appeared extremely intoxicated and was unresponsive, according to sheriff’s deputies. Members of the SWAT team took Albini into custody without further incident. Albini was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation, due to his extreme level of intoxication, Shubel said. Court records show Albini has misdemeanor convictions for assault, obstructing a police officer and battery since 1994.

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