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Man Throws Pipe Bomb Under Deputy Patrol Car In Guerneville

GUERNEVILLE (CBS SF) -- A Sonoma County man was arrested Friday afternoon after igniting a pipe bomb and throwing it under a sheriff's deputy patrol car in Guerneville, according to authorities.

The incident began shortly before noon Friday as a Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy stopped to get lunch at the Safeway grocery store on CA-116 in Guerneville.

The deputy parked his patrol car in the parking lot and entered the grocery store. While inside the store, he heard a loud explosion in the parking lot that rattled the store windows.

The deputy ran out of the store and saw people pointing at a man running northbound through the parking lot being pursued by a second man who was later determined to be an off-duty law enforcement officer. The off-duty officer tackled the suspect and held him until the deputy arrived and placed the suspect in handcuffs.

The suspect had a backpack at the time of the arrest that was believed to contain additional explosive devices. The suspect was transported to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Substation nearby while other deputies evacuated the Safeway and surrounding area.

Witnesses said they saw the man throwing suspicious items under his patrol car prior to the explosion. One female witness -- a Safeway employee -- was close enough to the explosion to suffer minor injuries. She was treated at the scene and was able to return to work.

No other injuries were reported.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Bomb Squad arrived and neutralized the backpack, rendering it safe. As of 2 p.m., the parking lot was still closed as the Sheriff's bomb dog is sweeping the area for more explosives and the suspect's car is being investigated for further explosives.

The Safeway remains open for business with limited access.

Authorities have not released the suspect's name, but he is believed to be a local Sonoma County man. More details about the case will be released as additional information is learned.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Crum said investigators are talking to the suspect to see if he is connected to an incident in which a pipe bomb was found under the Monte Rio Bridge in July.

Crum said the suspect is not connected to the rainbow flag thefts and bomb threats against LGBTQ community members and sheriff's deputies in Guerneville in May.

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