Snowmass woman, friend are attacked |

Snowmass woman, friend are attacked

Jim Files

A friendly offer of a ride home from a Carbondale bar ended Tuesday with a predawn sexual assault, knife attack and carjacking in the rugged country southwest of New Castle.

Francisco Javier Villa, 18, who told police he’s from Mexico, was arrested for first- and second-degree assault, felony menacing and aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Villa was arrested at 6:51 a.m. Tuesday near Fruita. He was held all day in Mesa County Jail, and was to be brought back to Garfield County Tuesday night.

Garfield County Deputy Ron Vanmeter said the victim from Snowmass Village, and a friend of hers, wounded during a struggle with the attacker, is “new to the area.” The man received two cuts on his right hand, Vanmeter said. Neither victim’s name is being released at this time.

Vanmeter said the couple met the suspect in a Carbondale bar and were giving him a ride home. “They got worried when they got out in the boonies,” he said, “and pulled over. That’s when the knife came out.”

The sexual assault occurred outside the car in an area near County Roads 312 and 335, about 5 or 6 miles southwest of New Castle. The suspect then stole the car and drove away.

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