Suspect arrested for hitting 70-year-old man with stick in Petaluma

Bay Area

PETALUMA, Calif. (KRON) – Police in Petaluma arrested a suspect accused of assaulting an older man with a large stick on Monday night.

Around 8:03 p.m. on Nov. 23, police responded to reports of an aggressive man using a large stick to hit another person in the area of 80 East Washington Street.

Police were given a suspect description and located him nearby.

The suspect was identified as a 58-year-old Petaluma resident, Timothy Schmelzer.

Authorities says the 70-year-old male victim was on a street nearby.

According to the victim, who primarily spoke Spanish, he was putting items on his bicycle when the suspect approached him, yelling profanities.

The victim did not respond, police say.

Officials say at some point during the incident, Schmelzer said he didn’t like Hispanic people and began hitting the victim with the stick before leaving the area.

Schmelzer was booked into Sonoma County Jail for multiple crimes, including assault with a deadly weapon, hate crime, and elder abuse.  

Police say the victim was not injured.

If you have any information about this incident, you are asked to contact police at (707) 778-4372.

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