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Stabbing unnerves Santa Rosa mobile home park

Residents of a senior retirement community in Santa Rosa were rattled Saturday morning by a stabbing that sent one man to the hospital and had police running through the neighborhood with guns drawn.

Officers were called to the scene in the Rancho San Miguel mobile home park around 10:40 a.m., according to Sgt. John Cregan of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

A 28-year-old man had pinned a 75-year-old woman to a wall, but the woman's son who was visiting tried to defend her, Cregan said. The suspect, Robert Southwick III, who was an intermittent roommate of the victim, then threatened the son with a piece of broken glass, Cregan said. But the son, defending himself and his mother, stabbed the suspect with a knife in the buttocks.

"So the 28-year-old flees the residence," Cregan said.

A few houses down the road, Kathleen Vassmer, 47, was outside her mother's home watering the plants when her neighbor screamed at her to go inside and lock her windows and doors. Vassmer's neighbor had heard someone banging on her door, and and opened it to find a bloody man asking her to call the police, Vassmer said.

"It scared her to death," Vassmer said. "I guess he just collapsed."

After the incident, a pool of bright red blood stained the driveway of a trim, blue and white double-wide that was surrounded by yellow police tape.

"This is not a typical Saturday morning," said Vassmer, 47, who was next door to the blood-stained home taking care of her mom.

Police arrived and took Southwick to the hospital. Then they booked him into Sonoma County Jail on charges of false imprisonment, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

"He got a few staples in his butt to put his wound back together and he was booked into jail," Cregan said.

You can reach Staff Writer Cathy Bussewitz at 521-5276 or cathy.bussewitz@pressdemocrat.com.


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