WALLA WALLA -- A youth has pleaded innocent to committing two separate assaults this year, the latest having occurred last month in the area of 12th Avenue and Willow Street.
Christian J. Ramos, 17, of 930 W. Birch St., is scheduled for trial Oct. 29 in the Juvenile Department of Superior Court on two counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree malicious mischief.
Police said Ramos hit Corey J. Reece, 24, twice with a baseball bat during an altercation Sept. 19. The assault -- believed to be the result of continuing violence between two local gangs -- allegedly took place in retaliation for earlier damage to windows at Ramos' residence and four vehicles parked nearby.
Ramos is accused of breaking windows in the vehicle Reece had been in before he was assaulted.
Reece suffered severe injuries to his face and head and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to a police report filed in court.
Ramos was injured in an unrelated gang-related fight March 7 in the area of 12th and Birch Street, officials said. But police believe he also struck his alleged assailant, Antonio Carmona-Hernandez, 16, of 308 N. Sixth Ave., with a bat, seriously injuring him.
Ramos wasn't initially charged with assault in connection with that fight because it could be argued he acted in self-defense, officials said. However, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Adam Malcolm said in an interview that he filed the charge after the most recent assault on Reece because of the "serious pattern of activity" Ramos allegedly was engaging in.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.