Road rage leads to stabbing in front of Tahoe City coffee shop

TAHOE CITY - Robert Lawrence Ash remained in serious condition Wednesday afternoon after being stabbed in the abdomen with a knife in front of Syd's Bagelry in Tahoe City just before 10 a.m.

The stabbing occurred hours after a road rage incident on Highway 89, according to the sheriff's deputies.

"There was a dispute between two individuals, possibly traffic related, that resulted in a stabbing," Lt. John Addoms with the Placer County Sheriff's Office said.

"At the moment, the victim is classified as critically injured."

Ash was transported to Lake Forest Hospital in Truckee and taken into surgery, according to Addoms.

Timothy George Brooks, 26, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Witnesses at the scene said they saw the Ash, 47, eating breakfast and reading a book outside of Syd's on a bench when a man and woman approached him.

"They had an altercation, and the victim got punched and stabbed," a witness said. "The victim fell into the street, and the woman kicked (the victim's) car. The man and woman fled, and the victim tried to go in the bagelry and fell down."

Witnesses said a man eating breakfast outside chased the suspects.

Shannon Merritt, an employee of Syd's who is also an Emergency Medical Technician, said Ash came into the bagelry and said he was just stabbed and needed help. Merritt got towels and gloves and applied pressure to the wound.

"He was kind of passing out," Merritt said.

Officers arrived on scene shortly after, including four sheriff's deputies, three detectives, an evidence technician, a lieutenant and a captain.

Shortly after 10 a.m., paramedics treated the victim and rushed him to the hospital, while Brooks sat on a bench outside of Syd's in handcuffs.

White tape framed the victim's back bumper, where the woman kicked his car, a new black D37 Aston Martin convertible with no plates and a Marin license plate frame.

Police also took photos inside the suspect's car, a tan Toyota 4Runner with California plates.

"We don't get these violent crimes very frequently," Addoms said. "Fortunately, we are well equipped to handle it."

- Tahoe World Sports Editor Alex Close contributed to this report


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