Hello I’m Sonoma County Sheriff Mark
Essick. I’m here to talk to you about a critical incident we had on November
27th. It started when we received a call from the Santa Rosa Police Department
that a car, which had been stolen during a carjacking several days prior, had been
located and was on the move. Our deputies responded and tried to pull it over. The
driver, 52-year-old David Glen Ward, started to pull over but then took off
and started a pursuit. What our deputies did not know at the time was that Mr.
Ward was not only the owner of the car, but the victim of the earlier carjacking.
The suspect had pistol-whipped him and stole his car. Mr. Ward had recovered the
car but failed to report it. It remains a mystery as to why he fled from our
deputies. Once the pursuit ended, Mr. Ward remained in the car and force was used
to remove him. Once removed, Mr. Ward showed signs of a medical emergency and he later died at a local hospital. We will show you the body worn camera video of the pursuit and other material from this incident. A warning: viewers may find
the conclusion this video disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised. We start
with a map of the pursuit. If you watched the body worn camera video closely, you may be concerned by what you saw. So was I. The way Deputy Blount
handles the entire situation is extremely troubling. As a result, I’ve
served Deputy Blount a Notice of Termination. He has been on
administrative leave since this incident occurred and he will remain on leave
until the conclusion of this investigation and all potential appeals
in the case have taken place. We release these videos so the community can get as full a picture as possible about critical incidents in our county,
regardless of whether it puts us in a good light or bad. Please know that this
one person does not reflect the culture of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office
and does not represent the hard-working men and women who work here. As Sheriff, I’m committed to make sure our deputies work within established policies and
maintain our high standards. And to Mr. Ward’s family, I’m sincerely sorry for
your loss. Our thoughts are with you during this extremely difficult time.
Thank you for watching.