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Press Release

U.S. Military Dependent Sentenced to Prison for Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter and Other Charges Stemming from an Assault of Several U.S. Airmen on a Military Base in Japan

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Colorado man was sentenced to prison yesterday in connection with an attack on 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, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr.  The sentence follows an April 2019 jury verdict finding Gomez guilty of various charges stemming from the assault, including 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. 

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.

Updated July 11, 2019

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-750