A Sonoma County teenager was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder early Saturday morning after what appeared to be a gang-related fight outside a Santa Rosa fast-food restaurant that left two 20-year-old men injured, one seriously.
Police said the 17-year-old suspect was apprehended while hiding in some bushes across the street from the In-N-Out Burger at County Center Drive and Steele Lane shortly after 1 a.m.
Authorities were called minutes earlier about an altercation reportedly involving eight people in the parking lot that started with verbal challenges, police Sgt. John Cregan said in a news release.
Two of the subjects brandished knives and two others had baseball bats as a fight ensued, Cregan said.
One participant reportedly grabbed a large wooden stake that was supporting a recently planted sapling and struck a 20-year-old Santa Rosa man in the head, causing significant injury, police said. It appeared he would survive, however. His name has not been released.
Another 20-year-old Santa Rosa man was stabbed in the arm, but did not require medical attention, police said.
Police believe the tree stake was wielded by the 17-year-old, who had previously run away from the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.
The teen ran across the street in the aftermath of the fracas Saturday and was hiding in bushes when a police dog helped authorities track him down, Cregan said.
The suspect was arrested and booked into the Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Center. Investigators had not yet determined if he is a gang member.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or mary. callahan@press democrat.com.