Sonoma County

Ukiah Man Arrested for Hate Crime After Allegedly Pepper-Spraying 2 People in Sonoma County

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A Ukiah man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly sprayed "bear deterrent" pepper spray at two people along a trail near Bodega Bay in Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said.

Anthony Pelfrey, 43, was arrested later Saturday at his home by Ukiah Police Department officers.

Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies were called about 10:15 a.m. Saturday to the Pinnacle Gulch Trail near Bodega Bay on reports of a man intentionally, and unprovoked, pepper-spraying people. Two men -- one Asian and one Hispanic -- were sprayed. The suspect, attending an outdoor yoga session in the area, deputies said, got in his car and drove away.

Witnesses took photos of him and his white Honda Civic, and identified him as having been part of their yoga class, deputies said.

Deputies determined the Honda belonged to Pelfrey, who was being investigated by the Ukiah Police Department and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office in connection with two similar incidents earlier in the week in which he allegedly used bear deterrent spray on people.

Pelfrey was arrested in Ukiah and later booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of a hate crime, a felon in possession of pepper spray, and illegal use of pepper spray. Pelfrey is currently in custody and being held on $50,000 bail after a judge approved a bail enhancement.

Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies said Pelfrey was convicted of attempted murder in Mendocino County in 2009 after attacking two men with a machete.

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