2022 May 25 – Charles Martin Wyatt
Published: April 24, 2023
On May 25th, 2022, Charles Martin Wyatt was a resident of Santa Rosa, CA, on parole, and under the supervision of Agent Jeffery Gill, a parole agent out of the Santa Rosa Parole Office. Agent Gill had supervised Wyatt since April of 2022. As a condition of his parole, Wyatt was attending sex offender treatment pursuant to California Penal Code section 3008, due to Wyatt being a registrant pursuant to Penal Code section 290. Additionally, due to a positive drug test for cocaine on April 15, 2022, Wyatt was attending drug treatment, as a condition of his parole.
On May 18, 2022, Agent Gill was informed Wyatt had missed a sex offender treatment class. Agent Gill attempted to contact Wyatt via telephone, to advise Wyatt to report to the parole office. Wyatt did not report to the parole office as instructed by Agent Gill.
On May 25, 2022, Agent Gill sent a text to Wyatt that read, “Make sure you make your meeting today. If you fail to show up to treatment you will be arrested.” Later that afternoon, Agent Gill was contacted again by a representative of the treatment program about Wyatt missing a second treatment class. Agent Gill then called Wyatt and they spoke on the phone. Wyatt responded that he was “a general in the secret service,” so Gill ordered him to respond to the parole office. Wyatt told Gill to “stand down,” so Gill ended the call, and decided to contact Wyatt in person at Wyatt’s residence.
Agent Gill, Agent Robert Braddock, and Agent Michael Sweeney went to Wyatt’s residence at 4420 Lahinch Lane in Santa Rosa, to take Wyatt into custody. Agent Gill inquired with the Santa Rosa Police Department if assistance could be provided, but no officers were available. Agent Gill sought out additional assistance due to Wyatt’s prior involvement with law enforcement that included a conviction for felony Penal Code section 69.
The parole agents arrived at Wyatt’s residence at approximately 1:35 p.m. Parole agent Braddock made the initial contact with Wyatt at the front door of Wyatt’s residence. Upon the front door opening, Agents Gill and Sweeney walked towards the front door to assist Agent Braddock. The agents attempted to engage Wyatt in conversation and immediately observed Wyatt had in his possession a towel in his right hand and a box cutter in his left hand. Agent Gill ordered Wyatt to drop the box cutter, but Wyatt ignored Agent Gill’s request.
Wyatt said he was “a general” and ordered the agents to exit his residence. Wyatt held up a driver’s license, which he referred to as his ID number, in his left hand. Wyatt then reached across his body and opened the box cutter knife. The agents ordered Wyatt to drop the knife multiple times. Agent Braddock deployed pepper spray, which contacted Wyatt’s face and chest area.
Wyatt then rushed at Agent Braddock, and Wyatt made a slashing motion with the box cutter at Agent Braddock, barely missing him. Braddock then discharged his firearm, firing three shots.
Agent Gill then stepped out of the residence and called for medical response. Agent Sweeney and Agent Gill placed handcuffs on Wyatt and began administering first aid. Medical personnel responded shortly thereafter and rendered medical aid to Wyatt.
Following the shooting of Mr. Wyatt, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation invoked the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Employee-Involved Critical Incident Protocol (“protocol”). The purpose of this protocol is to set forth procedures and guidelines to be used by Sonoma County law enforcement agencies in the criminal investigation of specifically defined incidents involving law enforcement employees. Under this protocol an outside law enforcement agency is designated to investigate officer-involved fatalities.
In this case members of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department assumed responsibility for the investigation. Members of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office participated in the investigation in a supporting role, in accordance with the protocol. Under the protocol the role of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office is to review the investigation to determine if there exists any criminal liability on the part of involved parties, including the law enforcement employee(s); to provide assistance to the investigating agency regarding legal issues; to supplement the investigation when necessary; and, when appropriate, prosecute those individuals believed to have violated the law.
Once the investigation is complete the District Attorney is required by the protocol to complete a thorough review of the investigation and prepare a report that summarizes the investigation and documents the conclusions. A copy of this report is to be submitted to the foreperson of the Sonoma County Grand Jury.
Per the protocol, the instant report includes a summary of facts surrounding the shooting of Charles Wyatt, a statement of the applicable law, legal analysis, and conclusions. This report does not and cannot include all the information contained in the hundreds of pages of reports, video and audio tapes, transcripts, photographs, and diagrams reviewed in its preparation. However, every effort has been made to include in this report a summary of all the relevant material evidence gathered by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department over the course of its extensive investigation of this critical incident.