Santa Rosa police and sheriff’s deputies arrested two men Thursday for an alleged hate crime assault on Aug. 26, a police lieutenant said. The suspects, Aaron Welch, 26, of Clearlake, and 32-year-old Salvatore Bordessa, of Windsor, are white and the victims are black male adults, Lt. Rainer Navarro said. The two victims, ages 24 and 29, were in a McDonald’s restaurant parking lot at Santa Rosa and Yolanda avenues around 1:30 a.m. Aug. 26, Navarro said.
Two male suspects were verbally harassing people in the area, called the two victims racial slurs and yelled “White Pride”, Navarro said. The suspects also shouted the name of a local gang with ties to white supremacy beliefs, Navarro said. The suspects unsuccessfully tried to stab the two victims but left, only to return a few minutes later to attack the victims, Navarro said.
One of the victims was stabbed in the shoulder and fell to the ground where a suspect stabbed him again several times in the leg, Navarro said. The victim was treated at a hospital for a wound not considered to be life-threatening, Navarro said. One of the victims tried to call 911 but the suspects took his phone away and fled in a pickup truck that was parked across the street, Navarro said.
Sonoma County and Napa County deputies arrested Welch at 6 a.m. Thursday as he left a residence in Clearlake, Navarro said. Santa Rosa police arrested Bordessa at 7 a.m. as he left a residence in the 9000 block of Orion Drive in Windsor, Navarro said. Police found marijuana at both suspects’ residences and evidence of gang association in the Windsor residence, Navarro said.
Both men were booked under $1 million bail in the Sonoma County jail for assault with a deadly weapon, two gang enhancements, terrorist threats, dissuading a witness, and a hate crime, Navarro said. Detectives are trying to locate a female that was with the suspects at the time of the assaults.
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