Rhyan Vasquez (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Rhyan Vasquez (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Marysville man charged with pistol-whipping ex-girlfriend

The woman’s injuries required 14 screws in her jaw and extensive dental work.

EVERETT — The man sounded hurried when he explained the situation to a 911 dispatcher.

“Rhyan Vasquez is attacking my girlfriend. He raped her, like, a month ago,” he said.

The fight was taking place shortly after 5:30 a.m. Sept. 24 in the parking lot of an apartment complex. The woman was screaming.

The man gave the dispatcher an address in the 7200 block of 47th Avenue NE.

“Now, now, now!”

Vasquez, 24, of Marysville is the woman’s ex-boyfriend. According to charging papers filed last week in Snohomish County Superior Court, he approached her with his face obscured with a bandana, pointed a gun at her and told her to start the car.

She screamed. He allegedly pistol-whipped her in the face.

Vasquez ran away when a neighbor came outside to check on the noise.

The woman posted photos of the aftermath on Facebook: blood splattered on her face and clothes, a broken jaw and teeth knocked out of place. In surgery, doctors put 14 screws in her jaw and wired it shut.

Prosecutors charged Vasquez last week with second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday. He remained in the Snohomish County Jail on Friday with bail set at $250,000.

Vasquez has spent much of his life in and out of the criminal justice system. As a juvenile, he accrued numerous charges, including misdemeanor thefts and assaults. He was arrested for robbery in September 2014, when he punched a man in the back of the head and took his wallet and cellphone. That same month, he escaped the Marysville city jail, having apparently slipped out after Bible study, according to court papers. Jail staff didn’t notice until two days later, when his attorney came to visit.

The woman reportedly said she has been living in fear of Vasquez. His family lived in the same apartment complex as she and her boyfriend. Vasquez knew her work schedule. And the woman reported Vasquez has beat and raped her in the past. She carried a handgun for protection.

They dated for 1½ years, until February. They fought a lot, she said, and sometimes the arguments became physical.

The woman recalled one time, while they lived in Everett together, when Vasquez reportedly took the rent money and refused to give it back. He allegedly strangled her to the point she almost passed out. She called police, but at the time she only told them that he took the money, not that he assaulted her, according to charging papers.

By July, when the woman had moved on from Vasquez. She had a new boyfriend. But she agreed to pick Vasquez up from Clallam Bay Corrections Center, where he was serving time for violating parole, and drop him off in the Marysville area, “as a sort of final favor, or final goodbye,” charging papers say.

On the way back, though, Vasquez became confrontational. He threatened to hurt her and her boyfriend. He punched the woman in the face, threw her cellphone away and took control of the car, according to her account of the day.

He drove to a nearby state park and raped her in a bathroom, the woman told detectives.

Later in the same trip, he pulled off of I-5 and into a construction zone, where he allegedly raped her again in a portable bathroom.

Eventually they stopped for fast food in Lynnwood.

“The defendant appeared to then understand the magnitude of his actions,” charging papers said. Vasquez let the woman go.

The woman reported the alleged rapes to the Marysville Police Department. An officer noted her lower lip was swollen, and she was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett for a sexual assault exam.

Detectives with the Clallam County and Jefferson County sheriff’s offices are investigating the accusations.

After the Sept. 18 attack, the woman said she believed Vasquez was retaliating against her for leveling rape accusations against him. Though he had covered his face, she reportedly said she knew it was him, by his voice and his distinctive eyes.

Police didn’t immediately find him. Vasquez had fled to a friend’s apartment.

There, his friend later told police, Vasquez stayed in a bedroom, listening to a police scanner and peeking out the windows.

The friend said he initially didn’t know about the alleged assault, and assumed Vasquez was wanted for violating probation. He confronted Vasquez when he heard about the attack from his wife, who had seen reports on social media and news outlets. But Vasquez didn’t respond.

On Sept. 20, within hours of posting a public bulletin asking for more information on the suspect’s whereabouts, police arrived at the apartment and arrested Vasquez.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found a handgun in the apartment like the one Vasquez’s ex-girlfriend described. While styled to look real, it was a BB gun, charging papers say.

Vasquez talked briefly with officers. He said he never hurt his ex-girlfriend and claimed “she goes out of her way to get me in trouble.”

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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