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News / Clark County News

Vancouver man denies having machete in homeless camp attack

Suspect accused of robbery, striking another man in back of head

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: September 27, 2022, 4:24pm

A Vancouver man allegedly attacked another man with a machete Monday at a homeless camp in Hazel Dell after seeing him with his former girlfriend, court records state.

Frank Angel Rios, 41, appeared Tuesday via Zoom in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 7.

The prosecution said Rios has prior criminal history, including third- and fourth-degree assault and malicious mischief, as well as 11 prior warrants. It asked that his bail be set at $400,000.

In arguing for $40,000 bail instead, the defense said most of Rios’ criminal history is not recent and described the alleged incident as “situational.”

Judge Derek Vanderwood cited “significant concerns with regard to community safety” and ordered Rios’ bail be set at $175,000.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded at about 5:45 p.m. to a report of a disturbance with a weapon in the 6200 block of Northeast Highway 99. Upon arrival, they found Ronnie Anderson and a woman walking in the area; Anderson had fresh blood on his right arm and was holding a T-shirt to his forehead, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Anderson said he was sitting at a homeless camp behind a business in the 800 block of Northeast Minnehaha Street when Rios hit him in the back of the head with a machete. Rios struck Anderson multiple times in the face and head, causing numerous injuries, the affidavit states. A responding deputy noted at least two, 1-inch knife wounds on Anderson’s face and head.

When asked what prompted the attack, Anderson said the issue was over him seeing Rios’ former girlfriend for the past three months. Anderson said Rios also stole his bicycle, court records say.

Anderson was taken by AMR to a local hospital for treatment, for what was determined to be minor tissue wounds, according to court records and a sheriff’s office news release.

One witness said he was sitting near Anderson, whom he does not know, when he looked up and saw a man hitting Anderson in the head with a machete. He watched the two fight, he said, and the assailant, later identified by police as Rios, took Anderson’s bicycle and walked off, the affidavit states.

A second witness, who saw the attack from across the street, said the assailant hit Anderson 25 to 30 times with a long object; the assailant then fled the scene on his own bicycle, with Anderson’s bicycle in tow, according to the affidavit.

Deputies located Rios at The Groove apartments, 900 N.E. Minnehaha St. Inside the unit, deputies found the machete on the kitchen counter and Anderson’s bicycle in the living room. A man at the apartment told deputies that Rios told him “he had just beat up a guy” who was dating his ex girlfriend. Rios allegedly told the man he hit Anderson in the head with a machete, court records state.

In an interview with investigators, Rios allegedly admitted to getting into a fight with Anderson and taking his bicycle, but Rios denied having a machete, according to the affidavit.