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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Man Sentenced in Felony Assault of Bicyclist on Joe Rodota Trail

Santa Rosa, CA  –  October 4, 2018  –  Defendant Michael Anthony Howard-Lafond, 20 years old of Sonoma County, was sentenced today by the Honorable Christopher Honigsberg after pleading no contest in September of this year to felony assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. The charges were the result of a May, 2018 incident where Howard-Lafond punched a bicyclist in the face on the Joe Rodota Trail.

Howard-Lafond was placed on three years of formal probation, given over 200 days of credit for time-served in jail, and ordered to complete substance abuse treatment. Further, he was ordered not to possess firearms or weapons and to stay away from the victim and the Joe Rodota Trail. 

The victim testified at the preliminary hearing that on the afternoon of May 15th he was riding his bicycle and came across 8-10 people standing in the middle of the Joe Rodota trail. He was unable to go through the group; however, he also could not go around them because of tents on either side of the trail. The victim excused himself and tried to walk through the group when someone grabbed his shirt and said he should have gone around. When the victim explained why he could not, Howard-Lafond approached and struck him in his left eye. The victim suffered orbital and nasal fractures and his eye was swollen shut for days after the assault.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This was an unprovoked act of violence directed at someone who was simply trying to bicycle home from work on a public trail. This defendant served a substantial amount of time in custody and he will be back in custody if he fails to fully comply with his probation terms.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Bertz. The Santa Rosa Police Department conducted the investigation.

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Joe Langenbahn
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Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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