Beating victim in critical care

Two arrested in Tuesday attack

Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2000

A Juneau man was unconscious and in critical condition in an Anchorage hospital this morning after being badly beaten outside a Willoughby Avenue residence early Tuesday.

The Alaska Native Medical Center identified the man as Kenneth Thomas, 36. He was in critical condition with significant blunt head trauma when he was flown out of Juneau on Tuesday morning, said Bartlett Regional Hospital spokeswoman Marijo Toner.

Another victim in the assault, a Juneau man, 27, was released this morning from Bartlett. He was admitted Tuesday with a dislocated shoulder and several cuts to the head, Toner said. His name was not released.

Police arrested Ronald Edward Smith, 33, and Rey Joel Soto, 20, on Tuesday and charged them 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.

Police alleged the attack occurred about 5 a.m. Tuesday 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 watched TV.

When Thomas answered the door, he was pulled outside and beaten with the bat, police said. A second resident was beaten 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 described the alleged attackers and their vehicle, which police later stopped.

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