GJ man accused in sword attack on roommate

Richard Ries

A Grand Junction man was arrested early Tuesday morning after he allegedly attacked his roommate with a sword, leaving the victim with severe wounds to his face.

Richard Allen Ries, 30, 2946 Rhonda Lee Road, was advised in court Wednesday he could be charged with first-degree assault. He was being held Wednesday night in the Mesa County Jail on $60,000 bail.

Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputies were dispatched to Ries’ home around 2 a.m. on a report of a man with a broken jaw. Deputies encountered 39-year-old Matt Sanderson outside the home holding a cloth against his face and bleeding and asked him to sit on the front of the patrol vehicle so they could look at his injury, according to an arrest affidavit.

“I noted he had a very severe large laceration across his face from his right cheek across his jaw and chin. His teeth and jaw bone were visible in the large cut,” a deputy wrote in the affidavit.

Sanderson told deputies Ries was angry and struck him with a sword, according to the affidavit.

Deputies approached the house and noticed blood droplets trailing from the house to the driveway and blood on a door. They also spotted holes on a wall in the living room and shattered glass on the floor. They then saw a man inside the house, according to the affidavit.

Deputies ordered the man to open the door and show his hands. When he failed to do that, they opened the unlocked front door and ordered him to get down on the ground and show his hands. The man, later identified as Ries, said he didn’t do anything but complied and lay face-down on the floor. A third man who appeared disoriented and intoxicated was found under a blanket and unharmed inside the house, according to the affidavit.

Deputies searched the house and found two swords, a pair of nunchucks, a baseball bat and a kitchen knife stuck in a bedroom wall. One of the swords had blood on the blade.

Doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital determined Sanderson sustained a large, disfiguring laceration that separated his jawbone and broke his teeth. Ries was checked for injuries at Community Hospital before being booked into jail, according to the affidavit.


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Alcohol and weapons don’t mix well.

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