Pasco teen charged in fight was recently released from juvenile facility

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 15, 2013 

A Pasco teen charged with stabbing a rival gang member in the chest, barely missing the man's heart, was released from a juvenile institution just three days before Saturday's brawl outside a Kennewick home.

Sergio Delgado, 17, was ordered held Thursday on $250,000 bail because of his criminal history and recent incarceration.

He pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. Trial is scheduled April 1.

Kennewick police were sent to 800 N. Irving St. at 11:15 p.m. Feb. 9 after getting reports of at least 15 to 20 males fighting, court documents said. Officers arrived to find blood on the sidewalk in front of two adjacent apartments, blood on one of the door jambs, a knife handle and two blades.

Four people were stabbed in the fight, and many other people suffered less severe injuries.

The stabbing victims left before police were on the scene. They were treated at local hospitals, with one victim going to a Seattle hospital for his injuries, police said.

Fernando Becerra received a 3-inch stab wound to his chest. An emergency room doctor told investigators that the wound was made with a large knife based on its size and depth, and that it narrowly missed the victim's heart, documents said.

Multiple witnesses told officers that the fight was between rival gang members and involved about 20 males.

Becerra said he "was talking disrespectfully to a rival gang member at the location when he heard someone say, 'Oh, you want to use knives?' " court documents said.

That's when a young man ran at Becerra and stabbed him, he said.

One witness reported seeing Delgado stab Becerra with a large knife, and another witness who identified Delgado by his street name said that during the fight she saw him holding a large knife that was bloody, documents said.

Delgado has served time in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration for a first-degree assault conviction, which stemmed from him being the driver in a drive-by shooting where a rival gang member just missed being hit, documents said.

After his release for that assault, Delgado was convicted for unlawfully possessing a firearm and sent back to a state juvenile institution. Prosecutors said he was released days before this fight.

Police detained and questioned 16 people that night, and arrested a 16-year-old boy and five men between the ages of 20 and 23 on suspicion of felony rioting.

Delgado and Richard Tyler Johnson, 23, are the only ones to be charged so far in the incident.

The other teen and older men no longer are in custody while police continue to investigate what happened on Irving Street. Prosecutors said Thursday that they are not ready to file charges against them at this time.

Johnson pleaded innocent Thursday to one count of rioting for allegedly using a metal pot to threaten others in the fight.

His trial was scheduled for April 1, and bail was set at $5,000.

Johnson was the back-seat passenger of a car that was stopped by police as it was leaving the fight area. The front-seat passenger, Jimmy G. Guzman -- who also was arrested -- reportedly had a bloody, swollen lip and a deep cut to his chin, which was treated by paramedics.

Johnson denied knowing anything about the fight or how Guzman was injured, court documents said. He told police that he'd come to the Tri-Cities from his home in Connell to party with Guzman, but said "they had not stopped anywhere in Kennewick," documents said.

Guzman, in his interview with investigators, allegedly admitted being with Johnson at a party nearby where a fight broke out.

Officers noted tattoos on Johnson's hands that indicate gang membership. He replied that he had been involved with gangs several years ago but was not currently, court documents said.

After his arrest, officers seized Johnson's clothing, which included a boot with what appeared to be blood on it. Then while behind bars, Johnson made a phone call and told the person on the other end that he'd "been at a party and some crazy stuff happened," documents said.

A search of the car allegedly turned up a pan on the floor of the back seat where Johnson had been sitting. The pan has a dent, and the handle is damaged and has blood on it, according to documents.

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

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