Former secretary at Pasco wrestling club accused of theft

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldAugust 21, 2013 

The former secretary of a Pasco wrestling club has been charged with embezzling $7,000 over two years.

Galicia Erica Virgen, 40, is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court on one count of first-degree theft.

According to court documents, Detective Lee Barrow with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the club's treasurer about a large amount of money that had been taken.

Barrow was told that Virgen, the prior secretary, had been given "time to pay it back and she had not done so," he wrote in documents.

The club's name in the sheriff's department report is Parents Awesome Wrestling Society, but court documents also show it as Pasco Awesome Wrestlers Society.

Barrow said that his investigation shows the money was stolen between July 14, 2010, and July 20, 2012. Virgen used it for her own purposes, he said in documents.

Virgen lived in Pasco at the time, but the charging document lists her home address in Kennewick.

Construction worker pleads innocent in assault case

A 32-year-old construction worker allegedly was high when he bent back a gate and tried attacking his co-workers with a sledgehammer, hitting the boss' dog under the left eye.

Jose Ignacio Zaragoza pleaded innocent to second-degree assault and possession of hydrocodone. He's set for trial Oct. 9.

Pasco officers and sheriff's deputies responded to a West Bell Street property at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 8 to find three men holding the suspect down on the ground, trying to detain him. An officer was able to handcuff Zaragoza while trying to find out what happened.

Clark Beaver, owner of the home and a construction business, said Zaragoza started working for him Aug. 6. Three days later, Zaragoza was fine when he showed up for work at 6 a.m. but started acting strange about 8:30 or 9 a.m., Beaver told authorities.

Zaragoza was told to leave the property and escorted to the front, then Beaver latched shut a gate between the front and back yards, court documents said.

Zaragoza allegedly grabbed a sledgehammer from his truck, forced his way into the backyard where Beaver and two others were working, and started swinging the heavy tool.

Beaver said he was yelling at Zaragoza to leave. His dog Luke, who was protecting Beaver, then went after Zaragoza and was hit by the hammer, documents said. The dog had to get eight to 10 stitches below the left eye.

The three men eventually tackled Zaragoza, jumped on top of him and all three pinned him to the ground until law enforcement arrived, court documents said.

Zaragoza reportedly was unresponsive, so he was taken to a Tri-City hospital. A search of his pockets before he left turned up a small cup with six hydrocodone pills, documents said.

At the hospital, Zaragoza told authorities he had smoked a joint of marijuana and a hit of crystal methamphetamine that morning, along with having "a shot of beer" just before starting work, court documents said. He then took a hydrocodone pill around 8:30 a.m., which authorities said "was about the time that he went crazy."

Zaragoza claimed that he thought two co-workers were talking about him, acting like they were discussing a movie and changing his name while plotting to kill him. He said his truck wouldn't start after he was kicked off the property, which deputies pointed out likely was because he has an ignition interlock and had alcohol in his system when he blew into the device, documents said.

Zaragoza said he was afraid of his co-workers and decided to defend himself so they wouldn't later sneak up on him, so he grabbed the sledgehammer and went back into the yard, court documents said.

Zaragoza further told deputies that he had been high those first three days at the new job, and that he had smoked the last of his meth before his arrest, documents said.

Zaragoza used to live in Sunnyside, but told the court he will be staying at a Pasco address if released on $25,000 bail.

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

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