SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A newspaper deliveryman was chased and attacked by two men who thought he was involved in a string of recent burglaries in Santa Rosa, according to Sonoma County authorities.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports the two were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of hitting the newspaper carrier’s minivan with pipes, chasing the man as he tried to run away and then beating him.

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Jimmy Tronconis says he crashed into several parked cars in his attempt to flee his attackers. The 38-year-old Venezuela native says they punched him while shouting racial slurs. He’s expected to recover.

“He was just the newspaper guy,” said Tronconis’ friend and employer Rafael Quinto. “These guys were trying to take justice into their own hands, and this is really unacceptable. (Tronconis) just had a baby, the poor guy is working three jobs.”

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Rodeo Van Bladel, 38, and Matthew Mills, 28, were booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and conspiring to commit a felony.

Investigators suspect the pair had been keeping watch in the neighborhood for a van they thought was involved in recent thefts.

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