‘Home Invasion’ …Or an Eviction Gone Very Wrong?

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  • Robert Vasquez claimed he was assaulted with this fence stake. [Mountain Enterprise photo]

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    Robert Vasquez claimed he was assaulted with this fence stake. [Mountain Enterprise photo]

  • Robert Vasquez claimed he was threatened with a brick from this stack of bricks. [Mountain Enterprise photo]

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    Robert Vasquez claimed he was threatened with a brick from this stack of bricks. [Mountain Enterprise photo]

By Gary Meyer

Neighbors of a Lake of the Woods man called 911 just before noon on Saturday, Oct. 15 saying that a man was screaming for help and being assaulted by three attackers.

According to a Kern County Sheriff’s report, Robert Vasquez was at home on the 6800 block of Frasier Road in Lake of the Woods when three men broke into his home, threw him onto the floor, hit and kicked him on the head and upper torso numerous times and threatened to kill him. They dragged him outside and beat him. Deputies reported that upon their arrival Vasquez was bleeding from his face and arms.

One of the suspects named in the report is Victor Perez, 39 of Santa Ana, the owner of the house where Vasquez lives.

Perez told a deputy he’d found a new tenant for the house and was advised by his attorney it could take 30 to 45 days to evict Vasquez. He told the deputy he did not have that much time because the new rental was effective November 1.

In a telephone interview with The Mountain Enterprise on Tuesday, Oct. 18 Perez said, “I own the house. We gave him a notice three weeks ago. There has never been a rental agreement [with him].” Vasquez, however, says he’s been living in the house for two years.

Asked if he or the other two men had assaulted Vasquez, Perez said, “No, we never touched him.” But one of the three men contradicted that claim. Deputies report that man told them Vasquez had started to attack Perez, and Perez punched his tenant.

Three neighbors told sheriff’s deputies they saw three Hispanic males in the front yard of the residence assaulting Vasquez.

Vasquez told The Mountain Enterprise that as the attack became more violent, Victor Perez at one point told one of the attackers not to hit Vasquez with a brick.

The report states that Felipe Perez, 45 of Santa Ana held a brick in his hands and told Vasquez in Spanish, “Where I come from we don’t play these games. I will kill you.”

Neighbor Pam McGee told The Mountain Enterprise and sheriff’s deputies that just before the three men fled the scene she saw a red pickup truck driven at a “rapid pace,” in reverse, up the driveway by one of the men, “in an attempt to back over Vasquez.”

The report states the driver was determined to be Victor Perez. Perez claims he put the truck in reverse gear by mistake and says he and his friends had come that day to clean up the property because, he says, Vasquez had trashed the house.

Vasquez explained that on Saturday, Oct. 8, while he was away, Perez had come and thrown all his belongings out of the house and locked everything up so Vasquez could not enter.

Perez says of that day, “We nailed the door shut and blocked the electrical panel with plywood.

“I came back [Saturday, Oct. 15] with Felipe and Alberto to take all the trash to the dump,” Perez said. The sheriff’s report states that when Perez found Vasquez still in the house Saturday, he shouted in Spanish, “I told you not to f_____g be here!”

Whichever version of events is true, no one disputes what happened after Victor Perez, Felipe Perez and Alberto Ramirez left the scene in a red Ford F-350.

An astute neighbor wrote down the license plate number. Senior Deputy Doug Jauch checked around the neighborhood for the vehicle. When he was unable to find it in the area, Jauch had Kern County’s dispatch operator advise CHP of the vehicle description and probable cause to arrest the three men.

Within 30 minutes the dispatch operator informed the deputies that CHP had stopped the truck at Interstate 5 and Highway 126, and that the three were in custody.

All three men are charged with felony first degree burglary, felony assault with a deadly weapon likely to produce great bodily injury and misdemeanor false imprisonment.

A sheriff’s press release was distributed calling the incident a home invasion.

All three of those arrested are scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing on October 27 at 10 a.m., in the Taft court.

Robert Vasquez says he’s not interested in suing the property owner over the ordeal. He says he just wants to get his life back together and to move on.

This is part of the October 21, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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