Walla Walla man charged in beating, robbery

Matthew E. Poarch faces a first-degree robbery charge after an incident last week.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man arrested last week after allegedly beating up an acquaintance and stealing items from him has been charged in Superior Court with first-degree robbery.

Matthew E. Poarch, 22, of 683 Pima Road, No. 277, is being held in the County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. The formal charge was filed Monday.

Poarch is accused of confronting Spencer Caldwell in the parking lot area of Taco Bell, 202 N. Wilbur Ave. about 7:35 p.m. May 4 while Caldwell was on a break from his job there. The two had worked together at another restaurant in the past and Poarch was angry for some reason, according to a police report filed in court.

Poarch allegedly shoved Caldwell against a fence, the two started fighting and Poarch struck Caldwell multiple times in the head and face, the report says.

Poarch then took Caldwell's cell phone and wallet, and threw the phone at Caldwell causing it to hit the concrete and break, according to officials. Poarch -- who had arrived at the scene in a car driven by someone else -- left in the vehicle and officials were notified, police said.

Caldwell reportedly suffered facial and head injuries, which were examined by paramedics at the scene.

Poarch was arrested Friday.

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