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Two stabbed in downtown Santa Rosa fight

Two men were stabbed and wounded before dawn Sunday during a closing-time brawl outside a downtown Santa Rosa bar, marking what has been a recent uptick in violent confrontations in the area, police officials said.

Detectives late Sunday were still searching for suspects involved in the attack, reported just before 2 a.m. at a Fifth Street parking lot behind Stout Brothers Pub, Sgt. Brandon Matthies said.

One man’s wounds were life-threatening but he remained alive and hospitalized, according to police. The other man’s injuries were not as serious.

With few leads or suspect descriptions, the Sonoma County Alliance’s “Take Back Our Community” program is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Detectives were investigating whether the stabbing had any connections to another fight three weeks ago nearby outside La Rosa Tequileria & Grille’s nightclub, Matthies said. One man was stabbed and beaten in that fight, but no suspects have been arrested.

Sunday’s attack was first reported by security staff at Stout Brothers, according to police.

Three men in their 20s from San Rafael became involved in an argument before a physical fight with another group of men erupted outside the pub, according to police. When officers arrived, everyone had fled and witnesses reported seeing two people “running away in bloody clothing,” Matthies said.

With stab wounds in the chest, the most seriously wounded man ran several blocks to the Santa Rosa transit mall where someone heard his cries for help and called 911, police said. The other man and their friend who had been pepper-sprayed by a bouncer took themselves to a hospital.

Both gang and violent-crime detectives were investigating the fight, although police said they had not yet confirmed whether it was gang-related. Police didn’t identify the men because of the violent nature of the crime. The suspects remained at large.

The earlier fight occurred Aug. 4 outside La Rosa Lounge on Fourth Street. The brawl was recorded by a club security camera and showed more than 15 people involved in the fracas.

Several days after the fight, La Rosa restaurant’s owners announced they would temporarily shut down the second-floor dance club because of persistent problems with a few select patrons.

Matthies said several bars in the city recently have lost licenses to serve alcohol, some temporarily, due to a variety of problems, which has limited the number of late-night options to downtown Santa Rosa. He believed that could be contributing to the number of problems downtown.

In response, police are planning to step up patrols near bars at last call before 2 a.m., when all bars are required to close down, the sergeant said.

Anyone with information about Sunday’s brawl can call Santa Rosa police at 707-528-5222 or leave an anonymous message about this case or any gang activity at 707-543-GANG.

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