Police officers responding to calls about a large fight in a west Santa Rosa neighborhood Sunday afternoon found broken beer bottles littering the street and a car leaving the area with shattered windows and a flat tire.
The occupants of the car -#8212; ages 17, 18, 19 and 20 -#8212; were victims in a gang-related fight, Sgt. John Cregan said in a press release.
Three were bleeding, including one with a head wound from being hit with a bottle, and they told officers they'd feared for their lives, Cregan said.
The victims all were wearing red, a color associated with one group of local gangs.
They said they made a wrong turn from West Ninth Street onto Rockwell Place when they were confronted by people hanging out in the area and assaulted.
Cregan said gang members in the neighborhood saw the red and believed the people in the car were rival gang members. The sergeant said it appeared the victims weren't gang members and had just happened to be wearing red when they drove into the area.
Beer bottles were thrown at the car, shattering two windows and puncturing a tire.
The four briefly got out of the car and were assaulted and hit with the bottles, the sergeant said.
The four got back inside and were driving away when police stopped them. Officers saw others running from the scene.
Gang detectives are investigating the 4:30 p.m. fight, which occurred in front of the Puerta Villa apartment complex on West Ninth Street. They are hoping to find witnesses to help them identify people who were involved and Cregan asked anyone with information to call detectives at (707) 543-3670.