Man Accused of Attempted Murder, Assault in Thermal Pleads Not Guilty

City News Service

(CNS) – A Thermal man who allegedly kidnapped, beat and attempted to strangle a 42-year-old woman in Mecca pleaded not guilty to felony charges Thursday.

Daniel Gamez Zaragoza, 39, was charged with four felony counts — one each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting corporal injury and threatening to cause death or great bodily harm, according to court records. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts, one each of false imprisonment and violating a stay away court order.

Zaragoza pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday morning at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Deputies from the Thermal station were flagged down in the 91000 block of Fifth Street in Mecca last week in reference to a 42-year-old woman who was allegedly kidnapped, beaten, held against her will for over eight hours and was choked with a belt , according to Sgt. Matthew Allert of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Allert said the woman sustained moderate injuries. She was treated and released from a hospital.

After Zaragoza was identified as a suspect, he was located and arrested at his residence in the 69300 block of Pierce Street in Thermal on Sunday morning.

The relationship between the suspect and the victim, if any, was unclear.

Anyone with additional information about the alleged crimes was asked to contact Deputy Espinoza from the Thermal sheriff’s station at 760-863-8990 or anonymously at 760-341-7867.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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