The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest of two young men in an attack on an elderly man outside a Rhonert Park casino on Christmas Eve.
The 67-year-old victim was in the parking lot of the Graton Resort and Casino at 6:30 in the morning of December 24. The man was reportedly attacked by two men, who then robbed him of cash and personal items. The victim was brought to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment of severe head trauma.
The Graton Resort and Casino opened just two months ago, on November 5, 2013. It is run by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and is located on the northwest edge of Rohnert Park along Highway 101. It is now the closest tribal casino to San Francisco and is expected to rival the Thunder Valley Casino for popularity among Northern California recreational gamblers. Thunder Valley is located in Lincoln, closer to the Sacramento and Roseville metropolitan areas. It was not opened without controversy, as group called Stop Graton Casino has filed a lawsuit against the presence of a casino in the open spaces of Sonoma County. They have used this incident as an example of the increased crime that may be brought to the area.
Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Investigation Unit detectives, working with Graton Resort’s security staff, were able to identify two suspects in the case. The multiple security cameras mounted in the casino parking lot may have helped identify the men suspected of the attack. By Friday morning, three days after the incident, both men were arrested. Detectives learned that Ricardo Davalos, 21-years-old of Santa Rosa, was traveling as a passenger in a vehicle, which they stopped in a coordinated traffic stop in Roseland, a Santa Rosa neighborhood, in order to arrest him. They also contacted Davante Raushad Love, 20 and also of Santa Rosa, who was convinced to surrender himself to the county detention center, where he was arrested as well.
Both men were booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. Their bail was set at $250,000 while the await arraignment. The investigation is ongoing.