Innocent plea entered in Walla Walla gang-related fight

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WALLA WALLA -- A man pleaded innocent Monday afternoon in Superior Court to a felony related to a gang-related fight last winter near 12th Avenue and Birch Street.

Roberto R. Arroyo, 20, of 330 W. Chestnut St., is scheduled for trial Aug. 24 on the charge of complicity to first-degree assault.

Police said Arroyo aided and abetted in the assault on Christian J. Ramos, who was hit on his head and shoulder with a baseball bat during the March 7 fight near his house.

Officials believe Arroyo had arrived at the scene in a vehicle with 15-year-old Antonio Carmona-Hernandez and others about 11:20 a.m., after which a dispute arose between Ramos and occupants of the vehicle. Carmona-Hernandez was holding the bat as he got out of the car and then hit Ramos with it, according to a police report filed in court. Arroyo and others also exited the car and allegedly assaulted Ramos.

Carmona-Hernandez, who has since turned 16, also ended up getting struck on the head by the bat during the brawl and was seriously injured, officials said. He hasn't yet been charged with involvement in this fight, but was one of several defendants who pleaded guilty to a riot charge in connection with a gang-related melee a year ago outside St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Arroyo was arrested June 14 on a warrant issued May 28 when the charge against him was filed. Bail initially was set at $50,000, but later was reduced to $30,000.

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