Domestic Violence Suspect Rescued, Arrested After Jumping Into Water Off Highway 37

A domestic violence incident in a car going 50 to 80 mph closed busy Highway 37 for about an hour Wednesday afternoon and led to a man’s arrest on multiple felony charges.

The incident began about 2:30 p.m. when a 911 caller reported witnessing domestic violence occurring in a moving car, American Canyon Police Chief Oscar Ortiz said. American Canyon police caught up to the vehicle, a PT Cruiser, as it drove on State Route 29 through American Canyon, and officers pursued the vehicle onto Highway 37.

The two-lane highway connects Solano and Sonoma counties and is a major transportation route connecting Interstate 80 and Highway 101.

The driver, identified as Adam Branks, 29, of Maryland, damaged one of his car’s front tires during the chase, Ortiz said. This caused the vehicle to slow down enough that Branks’s female passenger was able to jump out of the car between Mare Island and Sears Point. Branks then swerved his car and struck the woman, causing moderate injuries, Ortiz said. He said Branks then struck a CHP vehicle with his PT Cruiser.

An American Canyon officer was able to stop Branks’s vehicle by crashing into it with his patrol car, Ortiz said. Then Branks fled on foot and jumped into the waterway next to the highway between Highway 37 and Skaggs Island. Ortiz said Branks claimed to have a weapon and demanded officers shoot him. A hostage negotiator was able to convince Branks to surrender and he was pulled from the water by a CHP helicopter.

Branks was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, failure to yield and kidnapping. The unidentified woman traveling with Branks was transported to the hospital with moderate injuries.

“We are thankful that somebody saw it and actually did something about it. They didn’t just mind their own business. They called 911,” Ortiz said.

Editor’s note: Due to an error in information provided by police, this story originally reported an incorrect name for the suspect. His name is Adam Branks.

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