Three plead not guilty to February assaultPublished 8:44am Friday, March 8, 2013
All three suspects who allegedly assaulted a group of teens on Feb. 20 pleaded not guilty Thursday in Mower County Court.
Luis Rodriguez, 26, Roberto Rocha, 22, and Jose Moyeda, 19, all pleaded not guilty to felony charges for first-degree assault with great bodily harm, four counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of second-degree assault with great bodily harm and second-degree riot with a dangerous weapon.
The four victims say three men attacked them, and one of the men repeatedly hit a 17-year-old with an aluminum bat and fractured his skull.
One victim said the fight was gang related and involved a group called the “Northsiders.” The alleged assailants may have retaliated because they say the victims harassed a 14-year-old boy at the Austin Public Library.
Police arrested the suspects in a black Lincoln car shortly after the fight at about 7:30 p.m. The victims — 17, 16, and two 15-year-olds — positively identified the suspects, according to the court complaints.
While the victim who was struck in the head suffered cranial hemorrhaging and a fractured lower skull, he gave details to an officer at the hospital — similar details other victims mentioned. According to their accounts, the assailants exited the car at the 1200 block of Oakland Avenue East, and Rodriguez grabbed the bat from the trunk. In the court complaint, the victims say Rocha and Moyeda tackled the 17-year-old, and Rodriguez hit him several times with the bat. Another victim reported being hit several times, as well. The victims and a witness say Moyeda had a crowbar.
After the fight, the 17-year-old ran home and was later taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin and from there airlifted to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. The victims reportedly fled the scene and got rid of the bat, according to several accounts.