Santa Rosa, CA – January 8, 2020 – Defendant Jaime Tapia-Vasquez, 38 years-old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced earlier today by the Honorable Dana Simonds to serve 3 years and 8 months in state prison after having pled “no contest” in September of last year 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.
The charges resulted from an unprovoked attack on the Prince Memorial Greenway trail, behind the Hyatt hotel in Santa Rosa. The 45 year old victim was visiting from out of town in order to relax after suffering from a heart attack three weeks prior. This particular Sunday morning, he decided to go for a walk on the trail, as required for his rehabilitation. There were many people walking and riding their bikes at this time. The victim was approached by Tapia-Vasquez who, without provocation, struck him in the leg with a baseball bat causing significant soft tissue injury and requiring the victim to remain on crutches for 3 weeks. When contacted by law enforcement Tapia-Vasquez refused to provide his name and refused to comply with the officer’s requests for him to stop. Tapia-Vasquez then reached into his waistband and removed a replica handgun before running down the trail and out of sight. As the officer pursued him, Tapia-Vasquez emerged from some bushes with the handgun drawn, pointing it at the officer. Based on the size of the barrel the officer was able to determine this was an airsoft gun or BB/pellet gun. The officer was eventually able to detain Tapia-Vasquez, who punched the officer during the detention process.
Tapia-Vasquez pled to all charges with no agreed sentence, but could be eligible for a grant of probation. After the sentencing hearing, at the urging of the District Attorney’s Office, the Court agreed to sentence Tapia-Vasquez to serve 3 years 8 months in state prison at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The case was prosecuted by the Deputy District Attorneys Chris Brown and Jessalee Mills, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Greg Wojcik. The Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.