Man flown out because of injuries from assault

Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Two Juneau men are in custody following an early morning assault near Willoughby Avenue that left one victim badly injured in an Anchorage hospital.

A 37-year-old Juneau man was undergoing surgery this afternoon at Alaska Native Medical Center, police Lt. Ron Forneris said.

The man was in critical condition with significant blunt head trauma when he was flown out of Juneau this morning, according to Bartlett Regional Hospital spokeswoman Marijo Toner.

Another man, 27, was injured in the assault and was admitted to Bartlett this morning with a dislocated shoulder and multiple head lacerations. He was in stable condition at mid-day.

Police did not release the victims' names.

Police have charged Ronald Edward Smith, 33, and Rey Joel Soto, 20, with two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of robbery each. Both are being held at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center pending arraignment.

The attack allegedly occurred about 5 a.m. when Smith and Soto, armed with a baseball bat and a shotgun, knocked on the door of a Willoughby Avenue residence, near the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, as people inside were watching television.

When the 37-year-old man answered the door, he was pulled outside and beaten with a baseball bat, police said. A second resident was beaten and robbed when he tried to help the first resident, police said. The victims were robbed of a small amount of money, police said. They didn't provide other details.

Witnesses inside the house described the alleged attackers and their vehicle, which police later stopped.

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