Kennewick man arrested for assault, gun possession

Kristin Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMarch 27, 2014 

A Kennewick man arrested for allegedly punching his wife had changed his name to escape his criminal history, according to court documents.

Richar Ledesma was carrying a pistol when he was contacted by police, even though he doesn't have a concealed pistol license and isn't supposed to own or possess firearms because of his felony past, documents said.

Ledesma, 40, pleaded innocent to two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and one count each of fourth-degree assault and carrying a concealed pistol without a license.

His trial is scheduled June 2.

Ledesma's wife told police he punched her in the arm about 10 times on Oct. 6, documents said. Her arm was swollen and bright red, and she reportedly was unable to move it.

The woman told officers "she is very fearful of (Ledesma), as he carries a firearm with him and has other firearms at their residence hidden throughout the house," documents said.

She was taken to a Tri-City hospital, where X-rays found she suffered a deep tissue bruise that limited movement of her arm.

When police tracked down Ledesma, they immediately asked if he was carrying any weapons. He admitted he had a pistol in his waistband, and an officer removed a loaded Kel-Tec 9mm, documents said.

Ledesma said he hit his wife twice in the arm "after she tried to grab his head and the steering wheel while he was driving and tried to hit him with a glass bottle," documents said.

Ledesma was booked into jail on a gross misdemeanor assault with domestic violence charge and violations related to him carrying a concealed pistol without a license.

A check of Washington state criminal history records did not list any felony convictions for Ledesma, or any aliases, court documents said.

But when his fingerprints were forwarded to other law enforcement agencies, it was discovered the same prints were assigned an FBI number for a Richard Polenco, documents said. Polenco reportedly had the same birth date as Ledesma.

Prosecutors obtained copies of Texas court records showing three felony convictions under the Polenco name for second-degree arson, third-degree aggravated assault and criminal nonpayment of support.

Police went to the couple's home Oct. 7 to photograph the bruising on the wife's arm and to seize three additional firearms which the wife said belonged to Ledesma, including a Beretta .22LR semi-automatic pistol, documents said.

The wife said her husband's legal name at the time of his Texas convictions was Richar Polenco, but he later took on her maiden name in an attempt to conceal the criminal history, documents said.

Ledesma is out of custody on his personal recognizance and is allowed to travel throughout Washington state while the case is pending.

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

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