A Richland man was sentenced Wednesday to one year and three months in prison for attacking four firefighters as they tried to extinguish a small blaze in his apartment.
Nelson Aguayo was awaiting trial on that case when he slapped a nurse at Kadlec Regional Medical Center, destroyed medical equipment and spit on a Richland police officer.
Aguayo, 22, pleaded guilty Wednesday to both cases in Benton County Superior Court.
His nine-month jail sentence for the crimes at the Richland hospital will be done at the same time as the prison term.
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Aguayo’s cases had been on hold while he underwent mental health evaluations at Eastern State Hospital. Last month, a judge found him competent to stand trial.
Firefighters responded at 3:50 p.m. Oct. 18 to a fire alarm at Shoreline Village Apartments and spotted smoke coming from one of the Duportail Street apartments.
They tried to go inside the third-floor apartment to investigate, but Aguayo threatened to assault and kill the firefighters and approached them in an aggressive manner, court documents said.
Aguayo then struggled with Battalion Chief James Hempstead and firefighters Brenda Rogers, Gordon Minter and Raul Marroquin as they tried to subdue him, documents said.
Police arrived to find Aguayo being held down on the ground by two firefighters. Officers also had to restrain Aguayo so they could get him out of the apartment and allow crews to put out the fire.
Firefighters later determined that the fire was intentionally set using a pile of clothes inside the apartment.
Aguayo had been living in Richland temporarily while working on a construction crew.
He admitted one count of second-degree arson and four counts of third-degree assault for that case.
Then on March 13, Aguayo was taken to Kadlec from the Benton County jail for an unknown reason.
Nurse Lucas M. Meredith was trying to take Aguayo’s temperature when he slapped him on the right arm and hand, court documents said.
Meredith left the exam room and closed the door. A short time later, the nurse and a hospital security officer saw Aguayo destroy a medical monitor in the room.
Richland police Officer Clinton Armitage was called to help and that is when Aguayo spit on him, documents said.
Aguayo’s guilty pleas in this case were for third-degree malicious mischief and two counts of third-degree assault.