Man avoids prison in Angelina Co. pipe-beating case

Mario Rodarte (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Mario Rodarte (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A man originally charged with felony assault in a pipe-beating case has accepted deferred adjudication while pleading guilty to a lesser charge Wednesday morning.

Mario Rodarte, 51, entered the plea for Class-A misdemeanor assault in District Judge Paul White's courtroom. He will have deferred adjudication for 11 months, which puts him under probation. If he is successful with probation, he will avoid a felony conviction.

According to the arrest affidavit, the alleged incident occurred on July 26, 2013, near the intersection of FM 1270 and Wolf Hill Road. On that date, deputies responded to a report of a stabbing.

When the ACSO deputy arrived, on the scene, he found an injured Hispanic man who was later identified as Rodarte sitting in a work truck. Rodarte told the deputy that the man who had cut him was just down the road and among a group of other workers, the affidavit stated.

A short time later, the deputy took the man Rodarte pointed out into custody. A pat-down search revealed that Oscar Resendez had a camouflaged folding pocket knife in his back pocket, the affidavit stated. The man told the deputy that his arm was hurting.

Because of the language barrier, another of the workers at the scene translated for the deputy and said even though he didn't see the incident, Rodarte was one of the crew's bosses, and he was always causing problems with the other workers. He said that Rodarte had been taunting Resendez, who was operating a bush hog.

At the time, Rodarte had a long blunt object "that looked like an antenna" in his hands.

According to the affidavit, Rodarte struck Resendez several times with the blunt object, and Resendez was able to block some of the blows with his left arm, the affidavit stated. At that point Resendez pulled out his pocket knife and stabbed Rodarte several times, the affidavit stated.

After the ACSO deputies talked to several more people at the scene, they asked Resendez which hand hurt. One of the deputies unsnapped the man's shirt and noticed that his left forearm appeared swollen and had several red marks on it.

Resendez told the deputies that Rodarte hit him with a black pipe, and said, "He hit me. I swear it, and I don't want to cut him," the affidavit stated.

When the deputies asked Rodarte where the black pipe was, he allegedly said, "No pipe" and "know nothing." Later, the ASCO deputies found a black pipe that had what looked like coil springs at the end of it in the back of the work truck driven by Rodarte.

Rodarte was airlifted to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview for treatment of his stab wounds. Resendez was taken to a Lufkin hospital. When one of the deputies talked to Resendez at the hospital, he said that he had been hit about eight times with a pipe.

After the medical staff removed Resendez' shirt, the ACSO deputies took pictures of the red marks on either side of Resendez' head and on his left side, back, and neck, the affidavit stated. In addition, Resendez reportedly also had swelling and bruising on his left forearm and back right shoulder.

As part of the plea, Rodarte agreed to pay a $500 fine, along with restitution to the victim. He also will also have anger management counseling.

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