Charges filed after LEC fight
A Faribault County inmate will stand trial on charges resulting from a fight that occurred while being incarcerated.
Joaquin Dejesus Rodriguez, 31, pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault during a court hearing in Faribault County District Court on Monday.
Defense attorney Troy Timmerman requested a speedy, two-day jury trial for his client. Judge Douglas Richards says the trial will be held within 60 days.
Rodriguez has been in jail since Feb. 25, when Winnebago police arrested him on a warrant for another law enforcement agency.
A court complaint says around 9 p.m. on March 28, Rodriguez and Ronald Daniel Gaston began exchanging words.
The complaint says Rodriguez approached a table where Gaston was sitting, threw a puzzle piece on the table and told him to eat it.
Rodriguez allegedly was upset because Gaston had moved a puzzle he had been working on earlier that day.
Court documents say Rodriguez punched Gaston in the face with his left fist. When Gaston tried to get away, Rodriguez reportedly held his shirt and threw four more punches to his head.
Gaston broke free and made his way to the pod doorway and was spitting blood from his mouth.
Officer Kristin McClain responded to the fight and initiated a lock-down.
Gaston was transported to the United Hospital emergency room and then taken to Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato for surgery to his broken jaw.
The complaint says McClain observed Rodriguez trying to wipe blood from his hands.
A video of the fight, says the complaint, shows Gaston did not attempt to fight back.
Third-degree assault, a felony, carries a maximum penalty of five years and a $10,000 fine.