Auburn man pleads not guilty to jail assault of rival gang member

A 20-year-old Auburn man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a first-degree assault charge after he reportedly attacked a rival gang member in the King County jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

A 20-year-old Auburn man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a first-degree assault charge after he reportedly attacked a rival gang member in the King County jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

King County prosecutors charged Anthony Archuleta Sept. 8 with first-degree assault in connection with an Aug. 31 fist attack against another inmate, according to charging papers.

Archuleta is scheduled to return to court Sept. 26 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case. He remained in jail with bail set at $350,000.

Prosecutors describe Archuleta as a well-documented member of the Rancho San Pedro Pee Wee Sureno criminal street gang and the victim of the attack as a Playboy Surenos associate, a rival South King County Latino gang.

Archuleta allegedly attacked the other man as that man was being processed in a jail unit that included Archuleta and other inmates in the day room area for a morning break. Without warning or provocation, Archuleta punched the man repeatedly in the face with closed fists.

Archuleta reportedly told jail staff after the attack that it was “something he had to do” and that he had problems on the street with the man.

Archuleta said at a disciplinary hearing that the man had accused him in July of keying his car and that he has charges out of Auburn for malicious mischief because of the incident.

Auburn Police arrested Archuleta Aug. 27 for investigation of burglary. He was booked into the county jail in Seattle and transferred Aug. 28 to Kent. He was charged with first-degree burglary Aug. 31.


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