Thoren Manetta, a 24-year-old Bolinas resident who served prison time for his role in the 2008 mob beating of the colorful street personality Ricky Green, is the lone suspect in an altercation that took place outside Smiley’s Schooner Saloon near midnight on Friday, March 23. Two men, both from out of the area, suffered serious bodily injuries as a result of the incident. Manetta was uninjured.
The altercation reportedly stemmed from a disagreement inside the bar that took place when one man, presumably the suspect, took offense at the way another man, presumably one of the victims, talked to a woman. Smiley’s owner Don Deane was upstairs above the bar; upon hearing shouting on the street he rushed downstairs and spoke to an emergency crew that the bartender had already phoned.
“I went out on the deck and saw there was one man down in the street on his back, apparently unconscious, and two people in the street kind of just standing and looking. One of them had a bloody face,” he said.
Marin County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mark Hale said there is no evidence any weapons were involved. “We’ve pretty much wrapped up [the investigation], unless we come up with new information,” he said.
Manetta’s defense lawyer, Kellin Cooper, will argue his client acted in self-defense. “We expect that at the end of litigation everyone will agree this is a case of self-defense,” he said. “The fact of the matter is despite what kind of history someone has you always have a right to self-defense, and you have a right to use whatever means necessary to defend yourself. And this is what happened.”
Sheila O’Donnell, a longtime Bolinas resident, said Manetta’s alcohol and drug abuse and aggressive behavior—in 2007 he was arrested in a hit and run incident on suspicion of driving under the influence—is well known in town.
“A number of people have spoken about him. They are frightened,” she said. “He’s been a troubled kid since he got here. You know, when troubled kids show up we start hearing about them. Thor is a troubled kid.”
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Manetta the day after the melee at a friend’s house on Purple Gate Road on a charge of battery with serious bodily injury for the alleged beating of one of the victims, and after further investigation authorities identified him as the suspect in the beating of the second victim.
Manetta was also arrested on a felony charge for violating the state parole he was still serving after his 2009 release from prison following the attack on Green. He is being held without bail at Marin County Jail on the parole violation charge; bail for the battery charge is set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 9.
According to Cooper, a charge of battery with serious bodily injury carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.