Road rage leads to Tahoe City stabbing
August 17, 2005
TAHOE CITY – A Truckee man remained in serious condition Wednesday after being stabbed with a knife in front of restaurant here that morning.
Timothy George Brooks, also of Truckee, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for the stabbing that occurred at least a half hour after the two men were involved in a road rage incident on Highway 89, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department. The stabbing occurred at 9:51 a.m.
Authorities say Robert Lawrence Ash, 48, was allegedly stabbed in the abdomen by Brooks, 25, about a half hour after Ash cut off Brooks in traffic on Highway 89 north of Squaw Valley Road.
“The driving incident enraged Brooks to the point that he searched for Ash for approximately one half hour prior to finding him in Tahoe City,” a sheriff’s report stated. “Once Brooks found Ash, the two drivers became involved in a verbal argument. The verbal argument escalated to a physical fight between the two drivers. The altercation ended when Brooks stabbed Ash once in the abdomen.”
Ash was transported to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee by ambulance and received emergency surgery. He was later transported to Washoe Medical Center in Reno, where he remained in serious condition Wednesday.
Brooks was taken into custody, booked at Placer County Jail in Tahoe City and then transferred to Auburn. He remained in custody without bail, pending arraignment, according to the sheriff’s department. Brooks has no prior known arrests, according to Sgt. Dan Ingalls.
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No drugs or alcohol were involved, Ingalls said. Ingalls did not know what type of knife was used in the stabbing.
Witnesses at the scene said they saw Ash eating breakfast and reading a book in Heritage Plaza outside of Syd’s Bagelry on a bench when Brooks and a woman approached Ash.
“They had an altercation and the victim got punched and stabbed,” said a witness, who wished to remain anonymous. “The victim fell into the street and the woman kicked his (Ash’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 after Brooks and the woman.
Shannon Merritt, an employee of Syd’s who is also an EMT, said Ash came into the bagelry and said he was stabbed and needed help. Merritt got towels and gloves and applied pressure to the wound. She asked his age and if he was on any drugs, which is EMT protocol.
“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 Ash and rushed him to the hospital, while Brooks sat on a bench outside of Syd’s in handcuffs. Police roped off the area and declared it a crime scene.
Later, at 10:50 a.m., police extended the crime scene out into the eastbound lane on Highway 89, where a used cigar and box of matches lay. White tape framed Ash’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 took photos inside Brooks’ car, a tan Toyota 4Runner with California plates, that was parked in the Big Tree Center parking lot near the laundromat.
“We don’t get these violent crimes very frequently,” Lt. John Addoms said. “Fortunately, we are well equipped to handle it.”
-Tribune News Service writer Alex Close contributed to this report.