GJ suspect in liquor store beating jailed

A Grand Junction man was jailed Friday after the alleged senseless beating of a liquor store owner earlier this month.

Jonathan Paul Apodaca, 29, was a regular customer at College Liquor Store when he entered the 1133 Patterson Road business Oct. 12 to purchase two High Gravity Steel Reserve beers and three Smirnoff vodka shooters, the store’s manager, Robert Johnson, told police.

Apodaca had forgotten to bring in identification, but Johnson approved the sale anyway because he had seen the man’s identification during prior visits to the liquor store.

But, according to Apodaca’s arrest affidavit, things quickly went awry after Johnson told Apodaca and a woman with him that they would need to bring in identification the next time they came into the store.

Apodaca immediately became angry and started cursing, saying such things as, “Is there going to be a (expletive) problem,” the affidavit said.

As a result, Johnson refused to sell him anything.

“At that time ... (Apodaca) got close to Johnson and then punched Johnson in the left side of his face with a right fist, making Johnson fall to the ground,” the affidavit said. “Johnson said the male quickly headed for the front exit doors and was yelling at his girlfriend to leave with him.”

Johnson, however, wanted her to stay until police arrived, which prompted Apodaca to punch him in the face “at least five more times with his fists,” the affidavit said.

It took police nearly two weeks to track down Apodaca and the woman, who turned out to be his wife, Dawn. He was found through his parole officer. The man has an extensive criminal history with numerous felony convictions, including assault and forgery, the affidavit said.

Apodaca was jailed on suspicion of a parole violation and second-degree assault, a class-four felony that carries a penalty of up to six years in jail and a $500,000 fine.


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