The California Highway Patrol has arrested the man suspected of killing UC Berkeley’s chief legal counsel, Chris Patti, in a hit-and-run crash near Guerneville over the weekend.
Officers picked up Jonathan Robert Murray Ritter, 28, of Rio Nido/Monte Rio, around 4:32 p.m. in Monte Rio Tuesday, according to Officer Kerri Post. The exact location and circumstances surrounding his arrest were not immediately available.
Ritter was booked into the Sonoma County Jail Tuesday and being held on $1 million bail on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor driving without a license, said Misti Harris, a community engagement liaison with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court Thursday at 1:30 p.m., Harris said.
Ritter is suspected of hitting the 59-year-old Patti, who had been biking, on the shoulder of westbound Highway 116 around 8:45 a.m. Sunday. According to the CHP, the driver who hit Patti continued driving westward on the highway before turning around and passing by the scene heading east.
News of Patti’s death shook the UC Berkeley community. Patti had worked at the campus for the last seven years, and in the UC system for nearly three decades.
“I speak for the Berkeley community in saying how grief-stricken we are at Chris Patti’s untimely death,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said in a statement. “He was an extraordinary colleague. He loved the university, and he had a deep core of integrity that motivated everything he did. He was smart, he was compassionate. He was everything you wanted the counsel of the campus to be. We offer our sympathy to his family and his friends for this tragic loss.”
Patti is survived by a wife and two sons.