Bartenders arrested for allegedly serving minor who crashed into horseback rider

Two bartenders have been arrested for allegedly selling alcohol to an underage man who was then involved in an alcohol-related crash that resulted in major injuries to a man on horseback in December, authorities said Thursday.     

The underage man, Troy Thomas Hale, 20, is currently facing charges including driving under the influence and causing injury and felony hit-and-run causing injury or death. There are also an additional two felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.     

The bartenders were employed at the Final Edition Bar in the Larkfield Shopping Center in an unincorporated area of Sonoma County near Santa Rosa. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has also filed an accusation against the bar that could result in penalties, an ABC spokesperson said, as well as suspension of its liquor license.   

The bartenders, a 38-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man, are charged with misdemeanors for serving Hale, who is suspected of a hit-and-run crash on Old Redwood Highway. The crash caused major injuries to a man who was riding a horse to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec. 12, ABC officials said.   

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Since the driver was underage, Santa Rosa police notified ABC, which launched a "TRACE" investigation, or Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies. According to ABC, TRACE specifically targets serious alcohol-related incidents involving minors and is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.     

Officers initially issued a search warrant for Hale's residence, where they allegedly found fentanyl pills and cocaine as well as ammunition. Hale had previously been arrested in July 2021 for allegedly possessing a loaded weapon in public, according to county records. He is also being charged with violating his pre-trial release by allegedly being in possession of ammunition.   

The man struck by a car was initially listed as being in critical condition afterward, and his current condition was not immediately available. The horse was transported from the scene by the victim's associates, according to police.