(Woodland, CA) - April 20, 2017 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that a Yolo County jury convicted Paul Dufrisne, 58, of Esparto on April 18, 2017, of carjacking and kidnapping during the carjacking.
On June 2, 2015, Dufrisne stepped in front of the victims’ truck as the driver drove herself and her passenger to work from Plainfield St. in Esparto to Monsanto on Highway 16 outside of Woodland. Dufrisne forced the driver to stop the truck and then put his hands on the hood, preventing her from continuing on her route. He then went around to the passenger side of the truck, pounded on the windows, and attempted to get in, but was unable due to the doors being locked. The driver started driving again at which point the defendant grabbed onto the rearview mirror and hung on it as the truck turned on Yolo Ave. The driver, out of fear, stopped the truck to roll down her window and yell for help because she did not have a cell phone. However, she mistakenly unlocked the doors and Dufrisne got in the truck. He began yelling at her to drive and said other things that neither of the victims could decipher due to Spanish being their primary language. However, the driver could tell that Dufrisne was angry so she drove to Highway 16 trying to find a way to get help. When she approached the gas station at the intersection of Highway 16 and County Road 89, Dufrisne angrily yelled at her not to stop. She kept driving and attempted to make a right hand turn into the Madison Migrant Camp to get help; however, Dufrisne grabbed the steering wheel overpowering the driver and forced the truck back onto Highway 16. He also reached over and slammed on the accelerator while the driver was stepping on the brake. The force Dufrisne applied to the steering wheel and accelerator caused the truck, as described by the driver, to “fly down the road” and prevented her and her passenger from getting help and escaping. At this time, Dufrisne stated angrily that he was going to drive. Almost three-quarters of a mile down the road, the driver was able to stop the truck and she and her passenger escaped with the help of other motorists. Dufrisne also left the truck and ran through traffic on Highway 16 trying to stop other vehicles. An off-duty sheriff’s deputy saw the victims running from the truck and also saw Dufrisne running through traffic. When Dufrisne stepped in front of an ambulance, the off-duty deputy intervened believing that Dufrisne was trying to carjack the ambulance. Dufrisne ran from the deputy when the deputy tried to take him into custody. Motorists assisted the deputy in capturing Dufrisne and detaining him. Dufrisne told another deputy who responded to the scene that he had snorted methamphetamine the night before and was “tripping.” Dufrisne appeared to be under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant and stated that he was seeing flying saucers and being chased.
The jury convicted Dufrisne of carjacking and two counts of kidnapping during a carjacking. The same jury also found true that Dufrisne had three prior “strikes” for robbery, residential burglary, and dissuading a witness. Also found true were two enhancements that Dufrisne is a “habitual criminal” and enhancements for two prior state prison commitments.
Dufrisne pled not guilty by reason of insanity and will be committed to the State Department of Hospitals upon sentencing. As a “three striker,” Dufrisne could remain in a state hospital until sanity is restored or up to 36 years to life.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig stated, “A dangerous career criminal robbed the victims of their sense of security. What started as a normal work day for them quickly became a day of sheer terror. Fortunately, they did not lose their will to fight and were able to escape without any physical harm. Hopefully, the jury’s verdict provides them justice and allows for their sense of security to heal and be fully restored.”
This case was investigated by the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.