Eagle man allegedly tried to beat to death female bartender at closing time | VailDaily.com

Eagle man allegedly tried to beat to death female bartender at closing time

Pedro Gonzalez, 34, of Eagle, is charged with attempted murder after he allegedly tried to kill a bartender at closing time in a Eagle saloon.

EAGLE — An Eagle man faces almost five decades in prison for allegedly trying to kill a female bartender at closing time early Monday morning.

Pedro Gonzalez, 34, of Eagle, was caught five hours after he allegedly beat the woman in Eagle's Brush Creek Saloon. The beating was so savage that she had to be rushed to the Vail Valley Medical Center. She was transported to the Frisco hospital for a separate exam.

"It appeared that if (the female bartender) had not escaped the violent, continuous and deliberate assault, she would have been killed," said the arrest affidavit.

What police say happened

“This is an alarming crime for the public in Eagle County.”Dylan RobertsDeputy district attorney

According to the arrest affidavit from the Eagle Police, Gonzalez came into the Brush Creek Saloon around midnight wearing red shorts, a black T-shirt and a Chicago White Sox baseball cap.

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Gonzales ordered several drinks. Soon, other patrons left the bar, leaving Gonzales alone with the female bartender.

At 1:18 p.m., the bartender went into the kitchen in the back of the bar. Security video shows Gonzalez following after her with a beer bottle in his right hand. He started beating the bartender on the left side of her head with it, the affidavit said.

After several blows, Gonzalez dropped the bottle, but kept beating her with his fist.

The bartender defended herself as best she could, but the video shows that Gonzalez continued to beat her, throwing her around and at one point hitting her head on a sink. The video shows Gonzalez drag the bartender by her hair toward a pool table, where he switched to uppercut punches, the affidavit said.

Finally, the bartender forced Gonzalez off of her and ran out of the bar. Gonzales ran after her, according to police.

At 1:25 a.m., seven minutes after the beating began, the bartender called police from a neighboring apartment to which she had escaped, the arrest affidavit said.

Eagle Police Officers rushed into the bar moments later, the affidavit said.

Eagle Police, Eagle County Sheriff's deputies and Colorado State Patrol troopers started canvasing the area and motels and soon had photos of Gonzalez extracted from the security video. They quickly learned that Gonzales was renting a room up the street.

They obtained a search warrant, and when they searched Gonzalez' room, they found a blood stain on the door, red shorts and black T-shirt and tennis shoes that appeared to have blood on the soles, the arrest affidavit said.

At 6:38 a.m. Monday, Gonzales was arrested without incident, said Eagle Police Chief Joey Staufer.

First court appearance

Gonzalez made his first appearance in District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman's court Monday afternoon.

"You have the right to remain silent," Dunkelman said, along with outlining many of Gonzalez' other rights and instructions.

Gonzalez remained silent and motionless at the podium.

Deputy District Attorney Dylan Roberts did not, however. He's prosecuting the case.

"This is an alarming crime for the public in Eagle County," Roberts said.

Roberts said Gonzalez is an "extreme flight risk" and asked that Gonzalez's bond be set at $500,000.

Dunkelman agreed and set Gonzalez's bond at a half million dollars.

Roberts said Gonzalez has a pair of felony burglary convictions in Texas and a pair of driving while ability impaired convictions in Colorado.

Gonzalez is being held in the Eagle County jail. He was booked Monday afternoon on critical attempt of first-degree murder, punishable by up to 48 years in prison, and first-degree assault, punishable by up to 24 years in prison.

He's back in court at 9 a.m. Aug. 29.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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