Bay City News

Santa Rosa Man Charged With Hate Crime, Assault and Attempted Robbery

A Santa Rosa man was arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon for felony elder abuse, assault and attempted robbery of a 67-year-old man Friday.

The charges also include great bodily injury and hate crime enhancements, Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell said.

Santa Rosa police arrested Antonio Castro Valdez, 22, after responding to a report of a fight in the 3800 block of Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa. Police said Valdez had blood on his clothing but did not appear to be injured.

Police said the elderly victim was walking home when a male suspect began punching and kicking him and demanding money. The suspect left on foot and no property was taken during the assault, according to police. The victim was treated at a hospital for serious injuries.

Another caller to police around the same time said a family member was severely injured during a physical altercation, police said.

Outside the courtroom after the hearing, Valdez's parents said Valdez has a 3-year-old son. They said Valdez just got a third job.

Valdez was out with friends Friday night and returned home in bloody clothing, Florencio Castro, Valdez's father, said.

"This was not a hate crime. If any of this happened it must have been provoked," Castro said.

Valdez is being held in the Sonoma County Jail on $85,000 bail and his next court date is March 5.

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