Eagle barroom beating suspect didn’t run far, caught in his apartment, drinking beer at 6 a.m.
June 1, 2018
EAGLE — Pedro Gonzalez may have fled the barroom where he allegedly tried to beat a woman bartender to death, but he didn't run far.
Eagle Police found him a few blocks away from Eagle's Brush Creek Saloon, sitting on the bed of his rented room, drinking a Modello beer at 6 a.m., five hours after he allegedly beat Dita Richterova with a beer bottle, then his fists.
Gonzalez' attempted murder trial entered its second day with local police detectives explaining how they found him, and what they found.
Eagle Police Detective Jeremey Hawkins was among the first to examine the Brush Creek Saloon crime scene, in the pre-dawn of July 24, 2017.
Walking carefully through the Brush Creek Saloon, he photographed Richterova's blood splattered on the concrete barroom floor and elsewhere. She had moved the rubber floor mats to sweep, preparing to close at 1 a.m. and go home.
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Gonzalez was the only patron in the bar when she called last call. He allegedly began his assault when she went into the saloon kitchen to get a broom. He began beating her as she screamed and tried to escape, according to her testimony.
On the left of the freezer door was a sink and mop bucket filled with water. Gonzalez' Chicago White Sox baseball cap was hanging on the wringer in that bucket, where he hung it while he was beating Richterova. In the sink under the ringer, Gonzalez had folded his glasses and placed them inside. His beer bottle landed in sink when it flew out of his right hand during the attack that left Richterova beaten and hospitalized.
Robbery was apparently not a motive, Hawkins testified.
On the corner of the bar, a $100 bill and a $20 bill were undisturbed. Under the cash register was a stainless steel bucket containing dozens of bills of different denominations. Gonzalez would have been able to see that money-filled bucket from his seat at the bar, Hawkins said.
Caught blocks away
Richterova's roommate called police when she ran, breathless, into their apartment, after escaping from Gonzalez. Police quickly downloaded the saloon's security video, pulled a still photo from it, and emailed it to law enforcement around the area. It didn't take long for officers to identify Gonzalez. They tracked his vehicle registration to his apartment's address, on Third Street in Eagle, just a few blocks from the bar.
When police knocked on the door, another apartment resident directed them to Gonzalez' room.
In the room, in a pile of clothes, police found Gonzalez' red shorts. The shoes he wore in the bar were tossed on the floor at the end of the bed. The T-shirt he wore in the bar, emblazoned with "Death Slice! Rad Skate" had a blood smear on the front.
Police arrested Gonzalez, read him his Miranda rights and took him to jail, Hawkins said.
Gonzalez's knuckles were beginning to bruise when, detectives took pictures of him in the Eagle County jail. He was still wearing red shorts.
If convicted of the attempted murder charge he faces, then Gonzalez could be sentenced to 48 years in prison.
The trial continues Monday when defense attorney Thea Reiff presents her case.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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