Sheriff: Father-and-son hate crime suspects in California arrested after tree trimmer attacked

Roger A. Lillie (left) and Roger R. Lillie (right)

The Placer County Sheriff’s on Monday announced detectives had arrested two men - father and son - in connection with a hate crime against a tree trimmer this weekend.

Sheriff Lt. Scott Andrew told KTVU that 53-year old Roger A. Lillie and 25-year old Roger R. Lillie are now in custody at the Auburn Jail, facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, hate crime and conspiracy. Their bail is set at $80,000 each. They were taken into custody on Sunday in Colfax, about 45 minutes away from Sacramento. 

Their arrests follow a physical and verbal attack on a tree trimmer on Saturday.

WATCH: Father and son accused of hate crime against tree trimmer

As the sheriff explained it, a silver pickup truck pulled up on Canyon Way in Colfax about 2 p.m., in front of a tree-trimming crew. Two white men then got out, approached the foreman, and began berating him and calling him names, according to the sheriff and the trimmer's surveillance video attached to his truck. Andrew said his office is not disclosing what was said, but the slurs were racially motivated. 

One man eventually grabbed onto the tree trimmer and held his face against the trailer; the second suspect struck the back of the tree trimmer's head with a pole saw, injuring him, the sheriff said. This part is not captured on video.

The men drove off on Canyon Way towards Colfax. The sheriff credits their arrest thanks to social media.

A motive was not disclosed for the attack. But Andrew told KTVU that the tree trimmer, who is a contractor for PG&E, said he did not know the men. The tree trimmer suffered some lacerations to his head but he has been released from the hospital. 

Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez 

Father and son are accused of yelling slurs and attacking a tree trimmer in Placer County. Feb. 29, 2020