April 12, 2013 in City

Two more suspects in WSU assault arrested, released

By The Spokesman-Review
Tyler Tjomsland photoBuy this photo

Joshua W. Nantz, 23, a WSU student arrested in connection with an assault of WSU professor David Warner, a faculty member at the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies, appears in court Thursday at Whitman County Superior Court in Colfax.
(Full-size photo)

Two more suspects in a May 30 assault on a Washington State University instructor were taken into custody today.

John “Matt” Cabanos-Soriano, 22, and Robert D. Bean, 22, appeared in Whitman County Superior Court Friday morning, but were released on their own recognizance because they had no criminal history and were unlikely to flee, prosecutor Bill Druffel said.

Bean surrendered to authorities at Whitman County Sheriff’s Office at about 9:20 a.m. On Thursday, detectives went to Western Washington to meet Bean and Cabanos-Soriano at the Mukilteo Police Department, but the suspects were a no-show.

Druffel said Bean’s attorney was in contact with him last night and the suspect intended to turn himself in Friday morning. Cabanos-Soriano surrendered to authorities at Pullman Police Department around 2:30 a.m.

Both suspects were briefly booked into Whitman County Jail before their first appearance in court at 10 a.m.

Bean was enrolled in a Western Washington school, but withdrew from enrollment to focus on the upcoming case, Druffel said. Both suspects have strong ties to Western Washington, including having home addresses in that area.

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(L-R) John “Matt” Cabanos-Soriano, 22, Robert D. Bean, 22, Joshua W. Nantz, 23

Neither of the men attends Washington State University, but they’re connected to Pullman as acquaintances of Joshua Nantz and Madeline Fouts, who are WSU students.

Nantz and Fouts were arrested Wednesday in Pullman following an anonymous tip in the form of a letter sent to detectives from Western Washington. The note identified Nantz, Fouts, Bean and Cabanos-Soriano as possible suspects.

Also on Thursday, a judge ordered Nantz released on his own recognizance. The 23-year-old spent a night in jail after he was arrested Wednesday. Police also released Fouts after her arrest and subsequent questioning by authorities.

WSU instructor David Warner’s condition has been upgraded from critical to serious and he continues to recover at a Spokane hospital.

Police believe Warner was trying to break up a fight between a friend, identified as Lawrence McDonald in court documents, and the group of suspects. Surveillance footage shows a suspect punching Warner and two other suspects tackling Warner and McDonald to the ground.

The investigation is ongoing even though police have made arrests. Druffel is hoping more witnesses come forward to report what they saw the night of the assault.

No charges have been filed against any of the four suspects. Druffel has until Tuesday morning to file charges against Nantz, and Wednesday for both Cabanos-Soriano and Bean.

Fouts has not been booked into jail or appeared in court for her involvement, Druffel said.

“Since the break in this case, many people have come forward and we’re getting new information all the time. I need that to continue so we can make a careful and deliberate decision,” Druffel said.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Pullman Police Department at (509) 334-0802.

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