Two parolees who allegedly assaulted and robbed a woman in Sky Valley, in an attack that left the victim unconscious and stranded in the desert, were charged Wednesday with assault causing great bodily injury and robbery.
Oscar Esqueda of Palm Desert and Joseph Verdusco, both 22-year-old Coachella residents, pleaded not guilty to the charges and are due back in court on May 25 for a felony settlement conference.
The victim was physically assaulted and robbed of unspecified property in the predawn hours of May 2, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Shaun Myers.
The victim, whose name was withheld, later regained consciousness and walked to a nearby home to notify police, who responded at 4:07 a.m. to the 21500 block of Penny Lane, Myers said.
The sheriff’s department did not reveal whether the woman knew her alleged attackers.
Esqueda and Verdusco, both 22, were arrested last Thursday in Indio and booked on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and parole violations. Esqueda also faces a sentence-enhancing allegation for allegedly committing the assault while free on bail in another assault case.
Prosecutors allege that on March 2, 2017, Esqueda broke a beer bottle over a man’s head in Hemet. After Esqueda was seen arguing and pushing his ex-girlfriend inside a parked car, the victim intervened, prompting Esqueda to exit the car and strike him in the face with a bottle, according to an arrest warrant declaration.
The alleged assault left the man with “a split bottom lip, loose teeth (upper and lower), and a very large hematoma” on the back of his head, the declaration states. Esqueda allegedly ran from the scene and could not be found by responding officers.
Esqueda was charged last September with assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor domestic violence. He pleaded not guilty to those charges Monday in a Banning courtroom.