Two Venezuelans in Gillette gashed each other with broken Corona beer bottles after a reported argument about whether to ship money to Venezuela to get another family member into the United States, authorities say.
Wilquerman Monsalpe, 30, and Lewis Paez-Flores, 37, each face one charge of aggravated assault, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Monsalpe’s case entered the felony-level Campbell County District Court on Wednesday, while the case against Paez-Flores is scheduled for a Thursday preliminary hearing in the Gillette Circuit Court to determine if authorities have probable cause to pursue charges.
There’s The Bone
The investigation started when Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Rhoades was driving along at about 10 a.m. Aug. 27 and saw two men having an apparent fight outside a home.
When Rhoades stopped, people scattered from the scene, says an Aug. 29 evidentiary affidavit written by sheriff’s Investigator Josh Knittel.
Rhoades found Monsalpe standing outside, gushing blood from his chest and down his body. He had a laceration on his left shoulder and a 3-inch-deep puncture wound to that same shoulder, deep enough to display his bone, says the affidavit.
The document says medical personnel also found a slash about 13 inches long from Monsalpe’s shoulder to his belly area that was about a quarter-inch deep.
Walking That Way
Authorities found Paez-Flores walking east away from the scene. Cpl. James Innes made contact with Paez-Flores and discovered the man’s forehead and crown were cut.
Paez-Flores held a bloody, broken Corona beer bottle in his hand, the affidavit says.
Medical personnel took both men to the Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Staffers reportedly took Wilquerman to surgery, concerned about an arterial bleed.
Paez-Flores, meanwhile, required “several” staples on the top of his head.
But Do We Send Money
Knittel went to interview Paez-Flores first, bringing along a translator from the Gillette Police Department because Paez-Flores didn’t speak English.
The affidavit relates that Paez-Flores said he and his wife went to a family member’s home at about 2:30 a.m. the morning of Aug. 27, and there they drank alcohol.
Paez-Flores woke about 7:30 a.m. and got into an argument with Monsalpe about sending money to Venezuela to help another family member get to the United States, the affidavit says.
The argument got heated and the two men agreed to take it outside.
At first, Paez-Flores described pushing Monsalpe, throwing the beer bottle at him and missing, then running away and feeling beer bottles hit him in the back of his own head as he ran.
Knittel explained to Paez-Flores that his injuries were on his face and the front of his crown, as if he’d been facing the person who cut his crown.
Paez-Flores then indicated, allegedly, that he couldn’t remember what happened. He also denied stabbing Monsalpe but couldn’t explain Monsalpe’s injuries.
Not Wanting To Get Deported
The hospital discharged Paez-Flores from the hospital during this interview, and he agreed to continue his interview at the sheriff’s office, the affidavit says.
There ,Knittel explained that the injuries indicated someone had hit Paez-Flores in the head with an object, and someone stabbed Monsalpe with an object.
Paez-Flores then gave a fresh account: He pushed Monsalpe, who then bashed his head with a Corona bottle, he said. That’s when Paez-Flores swung at Monsalpe with his own Corona bottle.
Then Paez-Flores took off running and soon ran into a deputy, the affidavit relates.
“Lewis (Paez-Flores) indicated he was reluctant to speak with law enforcement and tell the truth because he was concerned about being deported and not being able to work,” Knittel later wrote in the affidavit.
Agents arrested Paez-Flores on suspicion of aggravated assault, which includes assaulting someone with a deadly weapon.
Can’t Do This Right Now
Knittel and his translator went back to the hospital to speak with Monsalpe. The interview was cut short because Monsalpe started vomiting and required treatment.
But before that point, Monsalpe said that Paez-Flores and his wife got into an argument of which he, Monsalpe, disapproved. So he intervened. Then they decided to take it outside, where some of the other six or seven people who were there tried to step between them.
Paez-Flores shoved Monsalpe, the latter recalled, then stabbed him with a broken beer bottle.
Monsalpe claimed he punched and kicked Paez-Flores, but denied having his own Corona bottle, says the affidavit. He said he threw a bottle but didn’t hit Paez-Flores.
Knittel explained to Monsalpe about Paez-Flores’ injuries.
“He had been hit with an object that caused several lacerations on the top of his head and forehead,” Knittel reportedly said.
Wilquerman vomited on the floor during that line of questioning, the affidavit says, so Knittel ended the interview to let medical staffers help the man.
He Didn’t Hurt Me
Knittel and his translator went next to Paez-Flores’ wife, who confirmed that she and her husband were arguing that morning before Monsalpe intervened, but said Paez-Flores didn’t hurt her physically in any way.
The two men went outside to “talk” in the front yard. The wife and another person came out to stop the fight and initially separated them, she related. But then they got into an active fight.
She said Monsalpe hit Paez-Flores in the head with a beer bottle, the affidavit relates, then Paez-Flores stabbed Monsalpe with the broken bottle.
Her husband started running away, then deputies arrived, she recalled.
Two men who were also there confirmed that there was a fight, though one of the men said he came outside just after it ended, the document says.
When the hospital discharged Monsalpe on Aug. 28, deputies arrested him, and the prosecutor’s office charged him the next day.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.