Senior arrested after golf course road rage


An 81-year-old Santa Rosa man suspected in the rage-fueled ramming of a bicyclist on a golf course was tracked down and arrested by police this weekend.

Harry Edward Smith was nabbed by Santa Rosa police Saturday after another bicyclist came forward with an incident similar to Thursday’s that sent 47-year-old Toraj Soltani to the hospital.

Sonoma County resident Rosa Zoia had contacted police in October 2011 after a run-in with an angry driver. Bay City News reports Zoia told police at the time about an older white male yelling at her for being “too young” for Oakmont.

Nothing came of Zoia’s report since police said no crime was committed. But Saturday, Zoia was able to produce a plate number for Santa Rosa police, which led to the arrest.

The plate traced back to Smith’s 1997 gold Toyota Avalon, which police said they found with damage to the passenger side mirror and debris from the golf course stuck underneath.

Soltani said he was chased onto a cart path at the Oakmont golf course then run over by an angry elderly driver on Thursday. North Bay cyclists have suffered a rash of deadly incidents in recent months, with five cyclists killed since May.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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