Local police are attempting to piece together the reason for an altercation that took place Sunday afternoon in the kitchen of China King Buffet that resulted in the arrest of three Stephenville men.
Stephenville Police Sgt. Steven Watts said an employee of the restaurant, located in the 2100 block of West Washington Street, called 9-1-1 at 2:25 p.m. to report that several men were attempting to start a fight in the kitchen area.
Three officers immediately responded to the scene and found the altercation had made its way outside the restaurant.
“When the officers arrived two suspects were located in the front parking lot outside the restaurant,” said Watts. “The victim had fled to the parking lot and two of the attackers followed him outside to attempt to attack him again.”
Following interviews with those involved and other witnesses to the crime, Watts says it was determined that the three attackers were off-duty employees of China King. “They approached one of their roommates who is also employed at China King, and allegedly attempted to assault him in the kitchen area. The suspects then displayed a small kitchen knife and a sharpening steel.”
One of the suspects, Roberto Vasquez, 22, fled the scene on foot but was later apprehended at his home in the 2200 block of West Tarleton Street.
The other two suspects, Rolando Vasquez, 25, and Manuel Vasquez, 29, were taken into custody in the restaurant parking lot.
Watts reported that all three assailants were brothers and natives of Guatemala, and due to a language barrier police were still attempting to determine what led to the dispute between the employees.
The three suspects were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, which was classified as family violence due to the three men being related and claiming to be roommates, said Watts.
“We’re still attempting to have the victim, a 41-year-old male, provide a statement,” Watts said Sunday evening. “The victim did not sustain any injuries during the attack and was not transported to the hospital.”
Following his arrest, Rolando Vasquez was taken to Harris Methodist - Erath County Hospital where he was treated for a laceration to the forehead which he sustained as a result of the victim defending himself, said Watts.
Erath County EMS also responded to the scene and conducted an evaluation of those involved in the incident, said Watts. “There was a witness in the front parking lot that tried to assist the victim and interfere with the suspects’ ability to attack, but no one else was injured, including our officers.”
Police located one of the weapons outside the restaurant, but as of press time were still trying to piece together the events that led up to the assault.
“We do know that it was something that had happened on a previous occasion,” said Watts. “It’s not certain if the incident was work-related or not.”
All three suspects were booked into the Erath County Jail at approximately 4:45 p.m to await arraignment Monday morning.