Homeless man ‘beaten with a stick’ dies in fight over a bicycle, Santa Rosa cops say

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A fight over a bicycle ended with a deadly beating in Santa Rosa last week, according to police in the Northern California city.

Authorities got a call on Jan. 31 around 9:40 p.m. reporting that a woman had seen two men attacking another near a Mexican restaurant on the north end of the Sonoma County city, according to a news release. She said a man was being “beaten with a stick,” police said.

Officers went to the scene of the beating and found a dead man lying on the ground with blunt force trauma injuries — and moments later, another officer spotted a man who matched the description of the attacker riding a bike about a half a mile away, according to police.

That man — 62-year-old William Armister Amons of San Francisco — had “injuries consistent with a recent physical altercation,” police said. He was arrested on murder charges and taken to the the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility, police said.

After working all night on the investigation, Santa Rosa police made another arrest in the case on Feb. 1: Solomon Asgedom Fret, 55, of Santa Rosa, was booked at the same jail on the same charges as Amons, police said, adding that they made the arrest “based on statement from witnesses and involved parties.”

On Monday, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office identified the man who was killed as 50-year-old Derrick Young, a homeless man who lived in Santa Rosa, Bay City News reports.

Fret and Amons — who are also homeless and live among “a cluster of homeless encampments” in the area of the murder — found blunt objects to hit Young with during the fight over the bicycle, then left the scene, according to police.

Police said Fret and Amons had accused Young of stealing the bike, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. Young’s body was found behind an auto repair business. Photos from the scene taken by the Press Democrat show a pile of bicycles and a tarp-covered boat that’s been turned into a “makeshift homeless camp.”

Both suspects are scheduled to face charges in a Sonoma County court on Tuesday afternoon, according to the newspaper.

Democrats have a lot of work to do on affordability and homelessness said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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