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A Cotulla man has been released on bond after being jailed during the early morning hours of Friday, March 10, in connection with an assault at the La Salle County Fairgrounds the previous evening.
Sheriff’s deputies and medics of the La Salle Fire Rescue descended upon the forecourt of the Alexander Memorial Showbarn shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday in response to an apparent brawl that had developed from an altercation between two family groups, according to investigators, and an assault victim had sustained serious injuries to his head.
In a report on the case, La Salle Sheriff’s Lt. Homar Olivarez said this week that officers believe the violence marked the culmination of a long-running dispute between families.
A suspect in the assault was identified as 34-year-old Frank James Torres Jr., who was remanded into custody by Deputy Hector Rodriguez at 2:40 a.m. Friday on a warrant issued by a La Salle County justice of the peace for felony aggravated assault.
According to the sheriff’s office, the victim in the case had sustained internal and facial injuries that included a broken eye socket and other head trauma. The injured man whose identity has been withheld was treated at the scene by local medics and was offered ambulance transportation.
Deputies responding to the brawl have reported that their intervention was complicated by a number of family members and associates of the parties involved.
The sheriff’s office has indicated that the case remains under investigation and that witness interviews continued through the weekend. Further arrests are pending, Lt. Olivarez said this week.
“It appeared that both men had been at the show barn because of the La Salle County Junior Livestock Show that was underway at the time,” Lt. Olivarez said. “It frustrates us that these parties decided to continue their conflict directly in front of the many children of the county who had prepared for so long and worked so hard for the livestock show. This was essentially a children’s event in the county fairgrounds. Countless families are involved in the junior livestock show, and it saddens me that our county’s children were exposed to this behavior by adults.”
Sheriff’s deputies who had been on routine patrol across the fairgrounds were among those drawn to control the brawl, which depleted the law enforcement manpower required for the county fair, according to the lieutenant.
“The schedule for the livestock judging events has been changed this year to cover several days, which means that even on a Thursday there were crowds at the fairgrounds, extending the traditional weekend into a lengthy period that requires officer patrols,” Lt. Olivarez said. “The number of witness interviews required after this incident tied up many of our officers late into the night.”
Torres was released on bond Saturday morning after spending eight hours behind bars.