Three men — two of them identified by police as gang members — were arrested Thursday on suspicion of beating and robbing a woman in a dispute over heroin and money, Medford police said Friday.
Brothers Kristin Nunez-Gomez, 19, and Juan Nunez-Gomez, 21, both identified by Medford police as Sureño gang members, and Anthony Mathis, 19, were lodged in the Jackson County Jail on first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and first-degree burglary charges, with bail set at more than $2 million.
A 21-year-old woman reported Thursday afternoon that she was assaulted by three men who barged into a home in the 2600 block of Hayden Place and confronted her over money and heroin.
She told police she knew the men slightly as she had "partied" with them the previous night and said there had been a dispute over money and drugs at that time.
Police said Kristin Nunez-Gomez was armed with a police-style baton and Juan Nunez-Gomez had a knife during the confrontation. According to police, Kristin Nunez-Gomez struck the woman in the face and upper torso with the baton, causing significant injury. The men left after taking undisclosed property from the woman.
"She declined an ambulance," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "She had obvious trauma to her nose and face."
Because Medford police knew about the Nunez-Gomez brothers and their alleged gang ties, detectives and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team took over the investigation, with assistance from the department's SWAT team, police reported.
Police set up surveillance of an apartment in the 1800 block of Inner Circle, Medford, where both Kristin and Juan Nunez-Gomez were believed to live.
"We typically keep track of our local gang members, where they stay and who they hang out with," Budreau said. "It's good that we had this intel on them. That helped us make an arrest quickly."
At about 11 p.m. Thursday, Kristin Nunez-Gomez and Mathis left the apartment in a blue 1997 Mercedes C23. Police pulled them over in what they described as a "high risk traffic stop" at the corner of Brookhurst Avenue and Crater Lake Avenue.
"A high risk traffic stop is when someone is wanted, armed or dangerous," Budreau said. "What you do is you take a position of cover behind car doors, and you order them out at gun point and walk them back to you and take them into custody."
Officers took both Kristin Nunez-Gomez and Anthony Mathis into custody, although Kristin Nunez-Gomez was uncooperative and had to be subdued with a stun gun during the arrest, police said.
"Kristin was reaching in his pockets and wouldn't go down on the ground, so we thought he could potentially be armed or hiding or throwing drugs," Budreau said. "Anytime you have police ordering you at gunpoint to the ground and you start reaching in your pockets, it's a bad move."
Police got a warrant and searched the Inner Circle apartment, locating Juan Nunez-Gomez there along with several other people who were not involved in the earlier assault
The three suspects were interviewed and lodged at the Jackson County Jail. At the jail, deputies said they found several baggies of heroin hidden in Mathis' undergarments. He was charged with possession and distribution of heroin, in addition to the robbery, assault and burglary charges all three face. His bail was set at $2,040,000, while bail for each of the Nunez-Gomez brothers was set at $2,020,000, jail records show.
"You got the drugs and the gangs, and essentially the motive in this isn't gangs; it's actually drugs, but some of our local gangs deal drugs," Budreau said. "This victim, bottom line — she chose to engage in drug use with these very dangerous individuals and quickly got in over her head. Anytime anybody engages in drug use, there is a substantial risk that you take when you do that."