Charges dismissed in connection with gang fight

Corey J. Reece, who was injured during a September fight, had faced malicious mischief and riot charges.

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WALLA WALLA -- Criminal charges have been dismissed in a case against an alleged gang member accused of breaking several windows in vehicles and at a residence in September, reportedly leading to a retaliatory assault against him.

Corey J. Reece, 24, of 9231/2 W. Chestnut St., had been charged in Superior Court with second-degree malicious mischief and felony riot. But Judge Donald W. Schacht dismissed the charges Friday at the request of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden.

Golden explained in an interview he asked to drop the case because witnesses have become uncooperative. Therefore he doesn't believe he can prove Reece committed the crimes.

Reece was accused of acting with fellow gang members on Sept. 19 to damage four vehicles and windows of the home at 930 W. Birch St.

Police said one of the residents, Christian J. Ramos, 17, later struck Reece with a baseball bat during an altercation in the area of 12th Avenue and Willow Street.

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 is awaiting trial in the Juvenile Department of Superior Court on a charge of second-degree assault. He also is accused of second-degree malicious mischief for allegedly breaking windows in the vehicle Reece had been in before he was assaulted.

Ramos also faces a second-degree assault charge in connection with an unrelated gang fight March 7 in the area of 12th and Birch, officials said. Ramos was injured, but police believe he also struck his assailant with a bat, seriously injuring him.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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