Hayden assault suspect turns self in

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— The suspect in an assault in Hayden turned himself in Wednesday morning and is being held without bail at Routt County Jail, police said.

Eduardo Gallegos-Reyes, 47, of Hayden, has been charged with first-degree assault, a Class 3 felony. He is accused of attacking 45-year-old Jose Mendoza of Hayden. Police say Gallegos-Reyes pulled Mendoza from his vehicle in the 300 block of East Washington Avenue on Monday morning and beat him severely. Mendoza was hospitalized and released.

Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch said family members brought Gallegos-Reyes to Town Hall in Hayden on Wednesday morning. The police operate out of the hall.

Birch said police think Gallegos-Reyes was angry because his landlord asked him to vacate his residence on Washington Avenue. Mendoza lives on the same property in a different unit, Birch said.

Gallegos-Reyes, who is from Mexico, was voluntarily returned to the country in April 2006 after he crossed the border illegally, immigration officials said. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assisted Hayden police by providing his photo and fingerprints in the assault case. Authorities said they think Gallegos-Reyes has been in Hayden about seven months and that he is in the U.S. illegally.

The immigration agency has placed a hold on him, Senior Agent David Smith said, which means he will be turned over to immigration after he faces charges. The agency will then determine whether Gallegos-Reyes has broken immigration law.

ICE holding two men

Immigration holds were placed on two Craig men after a March 15 incident in Hayden.

Police tried to stop the men after reports came in that the driver was driving erratically on U.S. Highway 40. The vehicle eluded police, Birch said, but the men were later found.

The driver, Ramon Chavez-Mena, 30, was charged with eluding police, driving without a license or proof of insurance and placing fictitious plates on a vehicle. Authorities at Routt County Jail said he was turned over to immigration officials.

The immigration agency placed a hold on the other man, Manuel Gabriel Valdez, 27.

Birch said police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and confirmed that it was not stolen. Police also looked for illegal drugs in the vehicle and found none, he said.

- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

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