Two arrested after Walla Walla man hit with bat

The assault is believed to be part of ongoing violence between two Walla Walla gangs.

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WALLA WALLA -- An Sunday morning brawl ended with one teen in jail and a man in the hospital.

Corey J. Reece, 24, was struck with a baseball bat in what is assumed to be a gang altercation, city police said. The Walla Walla man was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition Tuesday, police said.

Police had been dispatched at 1:38 a.m. to a home in the 900 block of West Birch Street, where five house windows and those in four vehicles had been broken, said police spokesman Tim Bennett.

The incident is believed to be part of continuing violence between two local gangs, he said.

A patrol officer was returning to the residence for more information when he discovered many of those involved in the window complaint had left, possibly after spotting a car carrying people believed to be involved in the window-breaking, Bennett said.

The officer checked the area near 12th Avenue and Willow Street and found Reece, his face covered in blood.

A car was located a short time later, empty and with numerous broken windows in retaliation for the earlier incident, Bennett said.

Officials believe Reece had been in this vehicle just before being assaulted, according to a news release.

The vehicle's owner, Juan Pablo Aguilar Jr., 34, of 512 Juniper St., was present and was subsequently arrested for investigation of disorderly conduct. Also arrested was a 17-year-old Walla Walla gang member, who was booked into the Walla Walla County Juvenile Justice Center on investigation of charges of first-degree assault and second-degree malicious mischief.

As the officer waited with Reece and Aguilar, several gang members approached making threats to harm Reece and Aguilar, according to the news release.

The officer held the group back by displaying his Taser until backup arrived.

The case is being investigated by the department's gang unit.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/fromthestorageroom.

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