Justice News

Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 25, 2019

U.S. Military Dependant Convicted of Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter and Other Charges Stemming From an Assault of Several U.S. Airmen on a Military Base in Japan

After a three day trial, a federal jury in Little Rock, Arkansas, convicted a man who was then-residing on the Misawa Air Base, a military base in Japan, of multiple charges, stemming from the assault of three U.S. Air Force airmen and resisting military police who attempted to restrain him. 

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland of the Eastern District of Arkansas and Colonel Kirk B. Stabler of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations made the announcement.

Rodrigo Pineda Gomez, 44, who was residing in Japan, was convicted of one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault by striking, beating, or wounding, one count of resisting a federal officer, and one count of making a false statement to law enforcement. 

This verdict follows the earlier guilty plea on April 19 of Miguel Gomez, 21, the son of Rodrigo Gomez and himself a participant in the assault, to one count of assault by striking, beating or wounding.

The presiding judge, U.S. District Judge James Moody, Jr., has yet to set a sentencing date. 

According to the superseding indictment and evidence presented at trial, on Dec. 31, 2016, on Misawa Air Base in Japan, the defendants, Rodrigo Gomez and his son, Miguel Gomez, assaulted three U.S. Air Force airmen.  During the assault, defendant Rodrigo Gomez attempted to kill one of the airmen by attempting to snap his neck and stomping on his head repeatedly while he was on the ground.  He subsequently resisted arrest after law enforcement arrived, and then later made a false statement about the incident.  Co-defendant Miguel Gomez also assaulted one of the airmen.  At the time of the assault, defendant Rodrigo Gomez was the dependent spouse and Miguel Gomez the son of an active duty service member assigned to the base.  Their last known U.S. address at the time of indictment was Jacksonville, Arkansas.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Trial Attorney Frank Rangoussis of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Williams of the Eastern District of Arkansas are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
16-426
Updated April 25, 2019