Police identify beating victim after release of picture


by Kristine Harrington


Posted on April 2, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 2 at 6:21 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- More clues about the unidentified man who was dropped off at a Mesa hospital emergency room last week.

Mesa police say a fight over a girl on Sunday, March 25 landed the 58-year-old man in the hospital.

Eliseo Zaragosa, 75 is behind bars charged with aggravated assault facing possible murder charges.

“What separates this from a regular drunk fight, because you often wouldn't see such severe charges, but during that fight our suspect, while the victim was unable to defend himself laying on the ground unconscious, came over and stomped on the victim's head,” said Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Wessing.

For about a week police did not know who this man was. He was left at Banner Desert Medical Center on Monday March 26 but was quickly transferred to Banner Good Samaritan hospital in Phoenix where police were unable to identify the man by using his fingerprints.

So police released a picture of the man Saturday and right away heard from the man's friends who took him to the hospital.

“Those folks when they contacted us later were very cooperative provided very good info to us about what occurred,” said Wessing.

Police say both men were drunk and got into a violent fight at a Mesa home.

“Not realizing how serious the injury was thinking he was maybe just intoxicated they brought the victim inside one of the residences then kept him overnight and in the morning realized the injury was much more serious than they though and transported him to the hospital,” said Wessing.

Police then caught up with Zaragosa at his mesa home.

“During questioning he made some admissions about altercation and fight however he did not remember claiming very intoxicated what occurred as far as how our victim received that head trauma,” said Wessing.

So far Mesa police are not releasing the victim's name.

“We're working with the Mexican consulate to see if we can reach out to family in Mexico,” explained Wessing.

Zaragoza is now charged with aggravated assault but should the victim die he could be charged with second-degree murder.