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