Two Sonoma State University students were arrested Wednesday night following a fracas with police during which one of the women is suspected of pushing an officer in an attempt to free her friend from custody, authorities said.
Amanda Cathrine Alvarado, 21, remained at the Sonoma County Jail on Thursday with bail of $100,000 after her arrest on suspicion of felony lynching and other misdemeanor charges, jail personnel said.
Rohnert Park Public Safety Lt. Jeff Taylor said Alvarado had to be wrestled to the ground as authorities tried to get the situation under control.
Her friend, Sarra Jean Qutob, 20, meanwhile, collapsed on the ground in an effort to avoid being put in a police car, though she eventually complied, Taylor said.
The scuffle occurred outside a house on Mitchell Drive, off Camino Colegio, shortly before midnight, when Officer Rick Bates responded to reports of a large party and disturbance, Taylor said. Bates found about 15 people outside the house and another 10 in the street.
When he knocked at the door, there reportedly was no one inside who lived there, but a woman — Qutob — came running up and said she was a resident.
She refused to give the officer her name, saying he didn't need it, and then tried to run away, Taylor said.
When Bates was trying to arrest her on suspicion of public intoxication, another woman, Alvarado, reportedly pushed him and tried to grab Qutob away from him, Taylor said.
Bates pushed Alvarado to get her away from him, and another officer who had arrived as backup then took Alvarado to the ground to handcuff her, Taylor said.
A third officer also responded and tried to keep the crowd at a distance, despite several who objected to the arrests, Taylor said.
Qutob, meanwhile, was taken to a patrol car but made her legs go limp so she could not be put inside, Taylor said. She initially refused to stand up, but eventually did comply and was taken to jail, as well.
Qutob was released from custody Thursday morning, jail personnel said.
Alvarado remained in jail, however, and was due in court today for her first court appearance.
Lynching is defined in the California Penal Code as "the taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer."
Alvarado also was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer and obstruction, police said.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.