Moses Lake man accused of threatening people with knife

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MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake is facing assault charges for allegedly threatening three people with a knife last week.

Grant County prosecutors charged Emilio Vargas, 25, of Moses Lake, in Grant County Superior Court with three counts of second-degree assault.

On Sept. 6 the Moses Lake Police Department officers responded to a report of a man chasing and threatening people with a knife at an apartment complex in the 1000 block of South Division Street. Police arrived at the scene and were told by two males that a man, Vargas, threatened them with a knife for no apparent reason, according to court documents.

One of the victims claimed he was walking to an apartment and was confronted by Vargas as he passed by his apartment. He said Vargas threatened him with what he believed to be a switchblade knife. Another person separated Vargas and the victim and took Vargas back into his apartment. Vargas allegedly left his apartment and chased two men and a woman while threatening them with the knife.

“I got conflicting information as to what type of knife Vargas was holding which ranged from a switchblade to possibly a kitchen knife, which is not unusual when people are under duress,” wrote an MLPD officer.

When police contacted Vargas at his apartment he was reportedly agitated and started yelling at the officers and refused to comply with commands after being told he was under arrest. He eventually complied and was taken into custody without further incident. Vargas claimed he didn’t own a switchblade, but admitted to owning kitchen knives.

“He said he only defends himself. He did admit he was holding a knife. Vargas does have a history of mental health-related issues and has been violent in the past even with law enforcement officers. Vargas did have a large gash on the right side of his head,” wrote an officer.

Vargas said the gash “must have” occurred when he was separated from one of the victims. Police records indicate the gash on Vargas’ head may have been caused by the knife when the subject who separated Vargas and the victim hit Vargas’ arm, knocking the knife into his head.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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