Vigilantes allegedly assault newspaper carrier


Two Santa Rosa men were charged in Sonoma County Superior Court Friday afternoon with assaulting a newspaper carrier and vandalizing his van Tuesday.

Rodeo Vanbladel, 38, and Matthew Mills, 28, did not enter pleas to the charges. Mills will return to court Feb. 27 and Vanbladel’s next court date is Tuesday.

Judge Rene Chouteau ordered both men not to contact the victim of the assault, Jimmy Troconis, 38, of Rohnert Park, if they post bail.

Mills is being held in the Sonoma County jail under $20,000 bail, and Vanbladel’s bail is $120,000 because he has prior felony convictions for burglary and assault likely to produce great bodily injury.

Vanbladel also faces additional charges on Tuesday for allegedly assaulting Mills’ pregnant girlfriend Teresa Dempsey, 28, of Santa Rosa on Wednesday.

Santa Rosa police said Vanbladel posted bail after he was booked for allegedly assaulting Troconis, and he and Dempsey went to visit Mills in jail on Wednesday.

After the visit, Vanbladel got angry because he couldn’t find his cellphone and yelled at Dempsey, police said.

When Dempsey stopped Vanbladel’s truck on Stony Point Road, Vanbladel got out and pulled Dempsey from the driver’s seat, police said.

Dempsey fell on her back and Vanbladel kicked her at least twice in the abdomen, police said. Vanbladel then drove away leaving Dempsey on the ground.

Dempsey went home and called police when she saw Vanbladel’s truck near her residence, police said.

Police arrested Vanbladel in his truck late Wednesday night.

Santa Rosa police said the two men attacked Troconis and struck his Honda minivan with sticks or pipes around 6:20 a.m. in the area of Baggett and Senna drives in west Santa Rosa.

Witnesses said Mills and Vanbladel were watching the neighborhood for a van they believed was involved in recent thefts, police Sgt. Brad Conners said.

When Troconis arrived in his gray van the two men confronted him and struck his vehicle with the sticks or pipes, Conners said.

Troconis struck a parked car when he fled in his van with Mills and Vanbladel in pursuit in their vehicle, Conners said.

When the two men caught up with Troconis they struck the van again and assaulted Troconis before he fled and called for help, Conners said.

Mills has several misdemeanor convictions since 2006 for petty theft, disorderly conduct, possession of a controlled substance, DUI, theft and violating a domestic violence order, according to Sonoma County court records.

Vanbladel was sentenced to five years in prison in April 2005 for a felony assault on April 9, 2002.

He was sentenced to five years in prison in March 1995 for a burglary on Jan. 30, 1995.

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