The son of an Apache Junction City Councilman accused of hitting a Mesa man in the back with a metal pipe during a road rage incident last year entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment Friday in Pinal County Superior Court.
Robert Eck III, 22, who was indicted two weeks ago on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with intent to injure, is accused of hitting Eric Martinez, 36. Eck III next will join his father, Robert Eck Jr., as a co-defendant in the case.
Eck Jr., who formerly served as vice mayor of Apache Junction, has been charged with aggravated assault-related charges in connection with the road rage incident.
On Oct. 2, 2009, according to police and court documents, Eck III stepped out of his father’s truck at the intersection of Idaho Road and Old West Highway about noon and hit Martinez, 36, in the back once with a T-shaped metal pipe before Martinez wrestled the pipe away.
Eric Martinez told police Eck Jr. twice purposely slammed into the back of his stopped motorcycle at the intersection, knocking his wife off the second time. Martinez’s wife was flown to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries; Eck Jr. also was treated.
Eck Jr. says he hit the motorcycle a second time after Martinez punched him in the face while he was sitting in the driver’s seat of his truck.
The father and son’s pre-trial conference will be in May in Pinal County Superior Court and is being prosecuted by the Gila County Attorney’s Office.
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