Police: August stabbing outside Santa Rosa McDonald's a hate crime

Two men with ties to a white supremacist gang were arrested Thursday on suspicion of committing a hate crime, more than two months after a black man was stabbed outside a McDonald's restaurant in south Santa Rosa.

Aaron Welch, 26, of Clearlake and Salvatore Bordessa, 32, of Windsor were held Thursday on $1 million bail at the Sonoma County Jail, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Ranier Navarro said.

The men, who are white, were set to be charged Monday with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon as well as committing a hate crime, making threats, dissuading a witness and gang enhancements, records show.

Police officials still are searching for a woman who was with them, Navarro said.

The arrests stem from an Aug. 26 encounter outside the McDonald's restaurant at Santa Rosa and Yolanda avenues.

Bordessa and Welch, who frequently stays in Santa Rosa, were harassing a group of women across the street about 1:30 a.m., Navarro said.

A 24-year-old man and his two friends were walking by and told the men to "knock it off" and stop bothering the women, whom they did not know, Navarro said.

Welch and Bordessa then confronted them, "yelling out racial slurs," Navarro said. The suspects pulled out knives, shouted the name of a local white-supremacist gang, yelled "white pride" and attacked them, Navarro said.

The 24-year-old man and his friends ran into the McDonald's.

Welch and Bordessa appeared to leave in a pickup, but the two suspected gang members were waiting near a fence and bushes when the group exited the restaurant, Navarro said.

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