Man pleads guilty to Denison beating

DENISON, Iowa -- A Denison man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Crawford County District Court to two assualt charges for beating a man in a hospital parking lot.

William Cruz, 34, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting assault causing bodily injury and assault with intent to inflict serious injury.

Cruz was arrested on July 29 in the parking lot of the Crawford County Memorial Hospital after a fight.

According to court documents, Cruz repeatedly struck and kicked Jose Antonio Serrato-Gonzales, 30, while the man was being struck and kicked by co-defendants Soyner Umanzor and Pedro Alvarenga.

Serrato-Gonzales suffered blunt force trauma to his head and was taken by helicopter to an Omaha hospital.

Cruz was originally charged with attempted murder and willful injury, but pleaded to the above charges in a plea agreement.

Crawford County Attorney Vicki Ryan said Cruz was setenced to two years incarceration for the assault with intent charge, but given credit for 20 days served, with the rest suspended.

Cruz, who is now on probation for two years, was sentenced to nine months in jail for aiding and abetting.

Ryan said a judge suspended fines so Cruz could focus on restituation to the victim, who was in court Tuesday with his family.

She said attorneys for Alvarenga, one of the co-defendants, said their client was deported to El Salvador.

Umanzor continues to face charges for the incident, but was not in court Tuesday. Additional information about Umanzor's case was not available.

-- Dolly A. Butz and Molly Montag