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Santa Rosa man receives 3-year sentence for hitting man with baseball bat, pointing replica gun at officer

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A 38-year-old Santa Rosa man who hit a man with a baseball bat and pointed a replica handgun at an officer in April was sentenced Wednesday to three years and eight months in state prison.

Jaime Tapia-Vasquez pleaded no contest in September to felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest with force, as well as misdemeanor charges of battery on a peace officer and brandishing a replica firearm, according to a news release from the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office.

On April 14, Tapia-Vasquez attacked a 45-year-old man who was visiting Santa Rosa to relax after suffering from a heart attack three weeks before, according to the news release. The man was walking on the Prince Memorial Greenway trail that morning when Tapia-Vasquez approached him and, without provocation, struck him in the leg with a baseball bat. The man had to be on crutches for three weeks, suffering from significant soft tissue injury.

Santa Rosa police officers approached Tapia-Vasquez soon after, but he ran away. When an officer chased after him, Tapia-Vasquez emerged from some bushes and pointed a replica handgun at the officer. Based on the size of the barrel, the officer determined that the object was an airsoft gun, BB or pellet gun, according to the news release. Tapia-Vasquez punched the officer during a struggle, but was ultimately arrested.

The sentence was handed down by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Dana Simonds.

You can reach Staff Writer Chantelle Lee at 707-521-5337 or chantelle.lee@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ChantelleHLee.

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