By James Lanaras
Bay City News Service
Four people jumping from a hot air balloon interrupted a California Highway Patrol officer's investigation of a Caltrans vehicle burglary this morning west of Santa Rosa.
The officer was at the Caltrans yard on Occidental Road near Fulton Road around 8:30 a.m., CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
The officer saw someone descending with a parachute just north of state Highway 12 near Merced Avenue and a hot air balloon at a higher altitude, Sloat said.
Three more people then parachuted from the balloon basket and the balloon drifted west toward Sebastopol, Sloat said.
Two more CHP officers responded and found one of the jumpers, Jonathan Entin, 46, of Bend, Ore. on private property 100 feet north of Highway 12, Sloat said.
Entin told the officers he did not know the name of the balloon company, Sloat said.
Witnesses who stopped at the scene said they saw the three other jumpers running through a field.
Entin was not arrested because the responding officers were not sure what laws if any were broken, Sloat said.
Sloat said it is legal to jump from a hot air balloon if the jumper has a back-up chute and a designated and secure landing zone.
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