Pasco teen to be charged as adult in alleged Kennewick library attack

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 22, 2013 

A Pasco teen has been charged as an adult for allegedly attacking a 16-year-old in a Kennewick library and helping take his laptop because the victim was wearing a college sweatshirt in a rival gang color.

Cyril Vaughan, 17, has pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree robbery for the Jan. 11 incident.

His trial is March 11.

According to Kennewick police and court documents, the victim was in the Keewaydin branch of the Mid-Columbia Libraries at 3:30 p.m. when he was approached by three other teens. The boy reportedly was wearing a maroon Washington State University sweatshirt.

Vaughan -- who is 6 feet tall and 250 pounds -- had on a blue checkered shirt and a blue belt and was with Lino Antonio Castaneda and George Thacker, who are known to police to be alleged gang members, documents said.

Two of the teens asked the victim if he wanted to fight, then began shoving and punching him, documents said.

Police earlier said that they don't believe the victim had any gang association. His laptop computer fell from his bag during the assault and was picked up by Thacker before the three suspects ran from the library, Deputy Prosecutor Kristin McRoberts wrote.

The teen left the library and saw an acquaintance who went with him to confront his attackers outside so he could get his computer back. Vaughan again punched the victim, court documents said.

Vaughan reportedly was armed with a collapsible metal baton that Thacker took from him and used to hit the victim on the head, documents said. The boy was knocked to the ground.

Library staff called 911 as the fight broke out. Kennewick Detective Jason Harrington pulled into the parking lot and saw Vaughan standing nearby while Thacker and Castaneda repeatedly tried to kick the teen on the ground in the head, documents said. The boy was bleeding.

Harrington activated his emergency lights and sirens and the two younger suspects took off. He tried to catch up to them but couldn't, so he notified patrol officers, who found and arrested the suspects.

Harrington then returned to the scene and contacted Vaughan, who said he did not know the two teens who fled and had nothing to do with the fight, McRoberts wrote. Vaughan was allowed to leave.

It was only after officers interviewed several witnesses that they realized Vaughan also was a suspect in the attacks inside and outside the library. He was found nearby and arrested.

In an interview with police, Thacker admitted to taking the laptop while Vaughan was fighting with the victim in the library, and later hitting the boy with the baton, court documents said. He said he got rid of the baton and his sweatshirt while running from officers, documents said.

The victim's head wound required six staples at Kennewick General Hospital.

Library officials earlier told the Herald that they will ban the suspects from the library for one year.

Vaughan automatically was transferred to adult court because of his age. He is being held on $25,000 bail, and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim while the case is pending.

The ages of Thacker and Castaneda were not available but both boys have appeared in Juvenile Court before Court Commissioner Joseph Schneider, who ordered them held on $25,000 bail each. They have hearings scheduled Wednesday.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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