Contra Costa Sheriff's Arrest Two in Assault; Detectives Check Homicide Tie

Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputies are trying to establish whether the death Thursday night of one man in unincorporated Bay Point and the assault of a second man a short distance away are connected, and have arrested two men as suspects in the second, non-fatal assault, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Erick Ruiz, 24, of Bay Point was arrested about 6 p.m. Friday, and 20-year-old Abel Garcia of Antioch was arrested about two hours later, Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said in a news release Saturday afternoon.

Ruiz was booked on suspicion of conspiracy, battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, and remained Saturday in the Martinez Detention Facility in lieu of $160,000 bail.

Concord police found Garcia's vehicle, and Garcia was arrested by Sheriff's deputies on suspicion of conspiracy, gang participation and battery with serious bodily injury, and remained in the Martinez jail in lieu of $140,000 bond.

Sheriff's deputies were called at about 9:09 p.m. Thursday to the 200 block of Riverside Drive in Bay Point, where a man was found, unresponsive, in the street, Lee said. That man, 38-year-old Johnny Burns of Bay Point, later died at a local hospital.

Twelve minutes after finding Burns, at about 9:21 p.m. Thursday, Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon on the 2700 block of Willow Pass Road in Bay Point, about a mile from where Burns was found in the street, Lee said. That victim, who wasn't identified Saturday, was later treated and released from a local hospital.

Sheriff's detectives are still investigating both incidents to determine if they are linked, and charges against the two men could change depending on what investigators find.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department at (925) 646-2441, or its Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. Tips can be emailed to tips@so.cccounty.us, or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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