Newspaper carrier chased, beaten by neighborhood watchmen, police say

A Bay Area newspaper deliveryman is chased, beaten up by neighborhood watchmen, police say

A Bay Area newspaper deliveryman was chased and beaten Tuesday morning by two neighborhood watchmen who thought he was involved in a string of recent burglaries, police said.

Santa Rosa police were first alerted to a hit-and-run about 6:20 a.m. near the intersection of Baggett and Senna drives -- but witnesses and an investigation revealed the collision was part of a wider sequence of events.

Earlier in the morning, police say two men were patrolling their neighborhood when they spotted a gray Honda minivan that they believed might have been involved in recent thefts.

The pair confronted the deliveryman, hitting his van with “sticks or pipes,” police said.

The driver tried to flee, but the duo pursued him in their own vehicle, and the deliveryman ended up crashing into a parked car.

After the collision, the duo resumed hitting the van. When the driver hopped out and tried to run away, they chased him and assaulted him, police said.

Police arrested Rodeo Van Bladel, 38, and Matthew Mills, 28, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit a felony, according to a department release.

There’s no evidence that the deliveryman was involved in recent thefts, police said.

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