PASCO -- Two Pasco men sitting outside an apartment late Tuesday were stabbed by three men with reported gang ties in what prosecutors are calling "a random act of violence."
The main suspect, Michael Angel Esparza-Aguirre, 24, reportedly ran away from the scene and is wanted by Pasco police for first-degree assault.
Meanwhile, Liberato Sanchez, 18, and Juan P. Aguirre, 16, were arrested for their alleged roles in the fight that left one victim with a stab wound to the neck and the other with arm and back injuries.
Sanchez, of Pasco, appeared Wednesday afternoon in Franklin County Superior Court wearing a suicide smock.
Judge Craig Matheson found probable cause for an investigation hold on felony rioting and first-degree assault. Prosecutors have until Friday afternoon to file charges or release him.
Bail was set at $200,000, but Deputy Prosecutor Teddy Chow also noted that Sanchez has a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.
"I didn't do nothing," Sanchez said.
He questioned why he was in custody, telling the judge he didn't know what he did to warrant the assault and rioting allegations.
"It's accused you were supporting someone who did that," Matheson said.
Court documents also show his name as Liborato Sanchez and Liberato Sanchez-Gomez.
Aguirre was booked into Benton-Franklin Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of felony rioting.
According to police and court documents, Pasco officers were called to the area of North 14th Street and West Hassalo Street at 10:06 p.m. Tuesday for a report that several gang members were fighting.
Officer Anthony Aceves arrived to find Damian Arreguin-Ochoa, 19, and Mercedes Avilas-Contreras, 27. Arreguin-Ochoa had been stabbed on the lower left side of his neck and Avilas-Contreras on the back side of his upper left arm and the upper left side of his back, documents said.
Avilas-Contreras lives in a Hassalo Street apartment and the two reportedly were sitting in the yard, "minding their own business," when confronted, Capt. Jim Raymond said in a news release. There was no apparent reason for the attack, he said.
During the assault, Esparza-Aguirre allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the victims. The suspects were running from the scene as police arrived.
Officer Chad Pettijohn saw Sanchez running east on Nixon Street away from the fight, and witnessed the suspect throw a knife under a parked car, court documents said.
Sanchez was detained and allegedly identified by two witnesses. He admitted to being involved in the fight, documents said.
Officer Scott Warren located the second suspect, Aguirre, at 15th and Hassalo streets. Aguirre admitted to being with Sanchez and a third man -- later identified as Esparza-Aguirre -- and said they had approached the victims and started punching them, documents said.
Esparza-Aguirre, of Pasco, escaped from police. He is described as 5-foot-6 with brown eyes and a shaved head.
All three suspects "are believed to have gang-related backgrounds," Raymond said.
Anyone with information about the assault or Esparza-Aguirre's location can call the Pasco Police Department at 545-3510.
Arreguin-Ochoa was admitted to a Tri-City hospital for treatment of his stab wound, while Avilas-Contreras was treated and later released.
Sanchez was told not to contact the victims.
"How am I supposed to know who they are?" Sanchez asked.
"Well, that's the people wounded in this incident," the judge replied.
Sanchez also was ordered by the court to have no contact with any known gang members, "whether in person, mail, electronic means, telephone or third person."
If he makes bail, he must not drive without a license and insurance, cannot possess or consume alcohol or drugs without a doctor's prescription, and has a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.