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Man suspected in pistol-whipping arrested in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa police arrested a man Friday in connection with a lunchtime fight that left one person injured after being beaten with the butt of a pistol.

Sgt. Lisa Banayat said witnesses reported a fight involving two or more men near the intersection of Steele Lane and County Center Drive around 11:45 a.m. Friday. One man reportedly pulled out a handgun and struck another, leaving him visibly injured.

The suspect fled into a neighborhood south of Steele Lane, adjacent to Santa Rosa Junior College. Witnesses reported seeing him discard something into the bushes at a house on Nordyke Avenue, and other witnesses later reported him walking on Salem Avenue.

Officers found a gun in front of the Nordyke Avenue house, Banayat said, and they spent about 30 minutes searching homes and yards along Salem Avenue. A man matching the description of the suspect eventually emerged and surrendered without incident, she said.

Joseph Vicino, 29, was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $50,000.

He was treated at the scene by paramedics for visible injuries, including a cut to his left cheek, but Banayat said it is not clear whether he sustained the injuries in the fight; he was not injured in the course of the arrest, Banayat said.

It's not clear what led to the fight or even how many people were involved, she said.

You can reach Staff Writer Sean Scully at 521-5313 or sean.scully@pressdemocrat.com.


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