by F.T. Norton

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September 3, 2009
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File under 'stupid criminals': Suspect picks wrong yard to jump into

A Carson City man allegedly fleeing a deputy during a traffic stop might have escaped Saturday night if he hadn't made one major mistake - jumping a fence into Sheriff Ken Furlong's backyard.

"The neighbors ate this guy alive in the street," said Furlong about the aftermath, when deputies marched suspect Shawn Nicholas Sulli, 22, out of the sheriff's backyard.

"Dumb---, you picked the wrong yard to jump into," the sheriff recalled one neighbor yelling.

Deputy Tara Collier was patrolling near Northridge Drive about 9:40 p.m. Saturday when she spotted a vehicle driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Collier ran the plate and it came back to Sulli, who had a Lyon County warrant for felony third-offense drunken driving.

Collier flipped on her lights and followed Sulli until he pulled over on Ridge Pointe Drive, the arrest report states. There, Sulli allegedly got out of the vehicle and took off running.

Collier noted several residents tried to stop Sulli to no avail.

Then he disappeared over a fence and into a backyard.

About that same time, Furlong said he was in his home with his wife when he heard the action on his radio.

"All I heard was Collier was in a footchase coming east on Windridge. I opened my front door and as I did she was running past my house," he said. "She said he went over my fence."

Furlong said Collier went in one direction to try to cut Sulli off and Furlong went through the side gate into his pitch black backyard.

He could see through the screen on his patio door his wife Phyllis watching television on the couch. He could also make out the shadow of a man standing on the back patio with his hands on the fence poised to leap out of the yard.

"My back door was open, my wife was in the house, and there he stood. I told him to get the (expletive) down. Down! Down! Get on your face!" said Furlong. "And he complied."

The sheriff jumped on top of the intruder.

"I'm telling him don't move. I had his arms wrapped real tight, trying to make sure this guy didn't have a gun, a weapon or anything," Furlong said. "I didn't have a weapon or a flashlight or anything. All I had was this darkened image."

A 911 dispatcher called the sheriff's home phone and alerted his wife to what was happening.

Furlong said he could see Phyllis down on the floor hugging the couple's dog Justice just in time to prevent the feisty German shepherd from going after the cavalcade of deputies who came running in the front door.

"The whole thing lasted like 30 seconds," said Furlong.

Sulli was booked into the Carson City Jail on suspicion of third-offense drunken driving, misdemeanor obstructing an officer, evading an officer, speeding, driving on a revoked license for DUI and failure to use due care. His bail was set at $10,000.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Sep 3, 2009 02:14AM Published Sep 3, 2009 02:13AM Copyright 2009 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.