Third Suspect Arrested in Fatal Cathedral City Beating

Third Suspect Arrested in Fatal Cathedral City Beating


Cathedral City, CA

A third suspect accused in an attack and robbery of a man outside a Cathedral City bar in June, causing injuries that were ultimately fatal, was in custody.

Michael Rios, 35, of Cathedral City, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder, said sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Tapp. Rios is accused along with Jorge Tapia, 37, and Andrew Ponce, 44, both also of Cathedral City, of attacking Rolando Rodriguez at about 2 a.m. June 25, 2016 outside the Block Sports Bar and Grill at 68955 Ramon Road.

The attack rendered Rodriguez comatose and suffering from injuries that killed him on Oct. 26, Tapp said.

Tapia and Ponce have been in custody since July in connection with the assault. Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and robbery, though it remains to be seen if the District Attorney’s office will pursue murder charges against them and Rios.

According to the sergeant, an investigation by Coachella Valley Violent Crime Gang Task Force members and officers from the Cathedral City Police Department led them to serve a pair of search warrants at a home in the 68100 block of Peladora Road in Cathedral City, as well as a business in the 68400 block of East Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City.

Rios was booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio.