RODRIGO GOMEZ: Teaching jiujitsu at Misawa Air Base in Japan in 2016. Jordyn Fetter/U.S. Air Force
Jordyn Fetter/U.S. Air Force
RODRIGO GOMEZ: Teaching jiujitsu at Misawa Air Base in Japan in 2016.

A federal jury in Little Rock yesterday convicted Rodrigo Gomez, 44, formerly of Jacksonville, now of Colorado Springs, Colo., of attempted manslaughter in connection with a brawl on New Year’s Eve 2016 at Cafe Mokuteki, a restaurant at Misawa Air Base in Japan, where Gomez worked and where his wife was stationed.

Gomez and his 21-year-old son, Miguel Gomez, assaulted three airmen and Rodrigo Gomez attempted to kill one of the airmen by trying to snap his neck and stomping on his head repeatedly.

The younger Gomez pleaded guilty to one count of assault last week, according to Stars and Stripes. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

From a Department of Justice release:

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WASHINGTON – A Colorado man was sentenced to prison yesterday in connection with an attack on three U.S. Air Force airmen and resisting military police who attempted to restrain him.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland of the Eastern District of Arkansas and Colonel Kirk B. Stabler of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations made the announcement.

Rodrigo Pineda Gomez, 44, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr.  The sentence follows an April 2019 jury verdict finding Gomez guilty of various charges stemming from the assault, including one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault by striking, beating, or wounding, one count of resisting a federal officer and one count of making a false statement to law enforcement.

According to the superseding indictment and evidence presented at trial, on Dec. 31, 2016, on Misawa Air Base in Japan, the defendants, Rodrigo Gomez and his son, Miguel Gomez, assaulted three U.S. Air Force airmen.  During the assault, defendant Rodrigo Gomez attempted to kill one of the airmen by attempting to snap his neck and stomping on his head repeatedly while he was on the ground. He subsequently resisted arrest after law enforcement arrived, and then later made a false statement about the incident.  Co-defendant Miguel Gomez also assaulted one of the airmen.  At the time of the assault, defendant Rodrigo Gomez was the dependent spouse and Miguel Gomez the son of an active duty service member assigned to the base.  Their last known U.S. address at the time of indictment was Jacksonville, Arkansas.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.  Trial Attorney Frank Rangoussis of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Williams of the Eastern District of Arkansas are prosecuting the case.