Apache Junction vice mayor beaten in attack - East Valley Tribune: News

Apache Junction vice mayor beaten in attack

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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 10:15 am | Updated: 10:06 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Apache Junction vice mayor R.E. Eck suffered a broken rib Thursday when a man he knew forced his way into Eck’s home and beat him, according to Eck and police.

VIDEO: Apache Junction vice mayor talks about being assaulted at home

Apache Junction Vice Mayor R.E. Eck Jr. suffered a broken rib Thursday when a man he knew forced his way into Eck's home and beat him, according to Eck and police.

The man fled to his home in Mesa, where he was involved in a two- to three-hour standoff with police before his arrest, according to Apache Junction police spokesman Tom Kelly.

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The attack occurred about 2 p.m. when a man Eck identified as Vincent Carlos Sanchez came to his home. Eck said Sanchez confronted him about what he perceived to be Eck's involvement in Sanchez's divorce. Eck's wife, Cynthia, works with Sanchez's former wife, Tracy.

Kelly said Vincent Sanchez, 37, in being held in Pinal County Jail in Florence on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of burglary.

Cynthia Eck said she is in the process of getting an order of protection against Sanchez in Apache Junction Justice Court.

"I've known his family for years," R.E. Eck said. "What I didn't know was that my wife got an order of protection for me against him after I helped change his wife's locks. I went outside to see whose vehicle was there and he came at me and told me, 'There's no order of protection now. You took her side' and started shoving, then punching me."

Eck said he tried to make his way back into his home and, when he tried to shut the door, Sanchez kicked it in and started chasing and punching him. Eck, who has fibromyalgia, which qualifies him as disabled, said he's a former boxer but could only try to fend off Sanchez's punches. Eck said he has difficulty with his arms, especially his left side.

Eck said Sanchez repeatedly punched him in the ribs. When Eck got up after Sanchez left the home, he said Sanchez came back and tried to force his way back in.

Eck said he told him, "I'm getting my gun," but called 911 when he couldn't find the weapon. Eck was able to get the license plate from the vehicle Sanchez left in.

"I was in my bare feet and shorts," Eck said. "He was just on top of me before I knew it. He chased me around the house. I tried to reason with him but couldn't. Then I just started screaming 'no, no,' and he kept chasing me and trying to hit me."

Eck, 46. was treated at Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa for a broken rib and several others that were bruised.

Eck said the attack was unrelated to a current recall effort that has targeted him and other City Council members. Eck said he attends council meetings, but does most of his work by telephone from home.

Eck said his mother lives next to Sanchez's grandmother in Kearny.

Mesa police responded to a call for assistance from Apache Junction police in the 7400 block of East Glencove Street, where Sanchez lives, but could not find the vehicle with the license plate they were seeking.

Kelly said Sanchez wouldn't answer his door or phone. Members of the Apache Junction police's Investigators and Negotiations Unit, along with Mesa police, took Sanchez into custody without further incident, according to Kelly.

Court records show Sanchez received an Arizona Department of Public Safety citation for assault and domestic violence against his wife about 2 a.m. Sept. 21 after she said they had an argument on Loop 202 on the way home from a baseball game.

Tracy Sanchez said the argument became physical and she begged her husband to pull their vehicle over. She said he then became more agitated, according to DPS reports. She left the car and said he ran onto the freeway after her. She said he threw her to the pavement and began choking her, and she couldn't breathe, reports say. She said he slammed her head to the ground and punched her as she tried to run away, reports say.

She said her husband stopped when he heard the sound of sirens and that officers confronted her husband and drew their weapons on him.

Tracy Sanchez filed for divorce about a month later. She received an order of protection against him in March. The divorce was settled on June 13.

Edward J. Susse, the Tempe lawyer who handled Sanchez's divorce, could not be reached for comment Friday. His receptionist said Susse is representing Sanchez again and was working on his case Friday.

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