Man pleads guilty to riot in New Year's Day attack

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WALLA WALLA — A reported local gang affiliate pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to a felony-riot charge in connection with a New Year’s Day attack on a man in the west end of town.

Mario Diaz Jr., 19, of 247 W. Chestnut St., faces up to a year in the County Jail when he’s sentenced later by Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann.

However, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden is recommending a time-served sentence from when Diaz was arrested Jan. 23 until his release March 6 pending further court proceedings.

Golden also agreed to drop initial charges of second-degree assault and possession of a pistol by a person 18-21 years old. He explained in an interview that had the case gone to trial, there may have been problems identifying Diaz as being involved in the attack.

In pleading guilty Monday, Diaz didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged there was evidence that might have convicted him.

Police said Diaz was among about 15 suspected gang members who approached Tylur D. Tiedemann, 21, who was walking in the area of Chase Avenue and Chestnut Street about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

The group asked Tiedemann and a companion, Jed J. Muse, 30, with what gang they affiliated.

After Tiedemann and Muse replied they didn’t affiliate with any gang, they reportedly were assaulted.

Tiedemann told officials he was knocked to the ground and a man, believed to be Diaz, held a silver pistol and ordered Tiedemann not to move while he was being kicked in the head and body by several others, the police report says.

Meanwhile, Muse was punched once in the face by someone and a man pointed a small black pistol at him, according to officials.

Diaz was arrested at his residence later in the month by the local SWAT team.

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