By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
Three people are being held on $100,000 bail after being accused of assaulting a man with a baseball bat in retaliation for a stabbing that seriously injured a Chehalis teen earlier this month.
Taylor S. Rodgers, 20, of Chehalis, Jesus Adrian Gomez Mendez, 19, of Centralia, and Victor Esteban Gonzalez, 18, of Centralia, were charged as co-defendants Thursday after making their first appearances in Lewis County Superior Court on one count each of second-degree assault.
All three are being held in the Lewis County Jail pending their arraignments next Thursday.
According to court documents, deputies from the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office responded on Oct. 13 to the 200 block of Brockway Road after receiving a report of an assault.
The alleged victim reported that at 1 a.m. the previous night, he was walking his dog when a white 1990s Honda Accord pulled up at the end of his driveway.
He saw four people in the car, including two females and two males, according to court documents.
He reported three people wearing masks got out of the car and one struck him in the head with a baseball bat.
The victim was bleeding but did not lose consciousness. He called his father, who called 911, according to court documents.
The victim reported that he believed the assault was done in retaliation for his role in an incident in which a 17-year-old boy was stabbed Oct. 5 at the Chehalis Walmart.
Jose F. Chagolla-Flores has been charged with first-degree assault in the stabbing. He allegedly has ties to the Sureños gang, though his gang affiliation wasn’t suspected of being a cause for the assault, which was allegedly over a marijuana deal.
One suspect told investigators that the victim of the baseball-bat assault was believed to have driven Chagolla-Flores away from the scene of the stabbing.
Deputies began tracking down suspects and identified several people suspected to be in the Honda.
Rodgers was identified as the driver. According to court documents, she told deputies she and other suspects smoked marijuana before driving to the victim’s house.
She said she backed into his driveway and shut off her lights before the other suspects got out of her car with baseball bats and walked toward the house. A short time later, they came back to the car and they all drove away.
Deputies also interviewed Gonzalez, who gave a different account of the events leading up to the assault. He reported that they called the victim to invite him to smoke marijuana with them, and jumped him when he came out. He reported someone swung a bat at the victim but said the victim was punched, not hit in the head with the bat.
“Victor (Gonzalez) said they were making a plan to set up (the victim) for driving Jose from Walmart to his house,” according to court documents. “Victor said they were going to jump (the victim) with ‘bats and stuff.’”
In addition to Rodgers, Gomez and Gonzalez, at least two other occupants of the car, one a juvenile female, were identified in court documents but not named as co-defendants.