Beating in Stateline leads to Santa Cruz |

Beating in Stateline leads to Santa Cruz

A four-month investigation led to the arrest of two Santa Cruz men who allegedly beat a member of the U.S. Air Force into a coma after an August argument.

Aaron McChesney, 30, and Nathan Arroyo, 29, were taken into custody Dec. 26 by Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputies using a El Dorado County warrant. An arrest warrant for Matt Arroyo, Arroyo’s brother, was issued.

On Aug. 18 about 3:30 a.m. Kevin Robinson was walking from the casino corridor with another person stationed at Beale Air Force Base in Marysville when the two encountered a group of men at the corner of Poplar and Cedar avenues.

An argument swelled and evolved into a fight, authorities said. Robinson was hit in the head by fists and feet. He was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital before being transported by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center. Kevin Mata, Robinson’s friend, was treated at the scene.

Robinson was in a coma and supported by a ventilator. He has since opened his eyes and is in rehabilitation at a military hospital in Palo Alto, said Detective David Stevenson.

“I talked to his dad on the 30th of December,” Stevenson said. “He told me he’s doing much better. He’s walking, he’s talking but still he’s mentally not there. He’s not recovered fully.”

Stevenson used witness accounts in finding the three men who had stayed at the Tahoe Queen Motel on the corner of Poplar and Manzanita avenues.

The detective said luck was a big factor in finding the suspects.

“One thing led to another. People were willing to talk,” Stevenson said. “Four people knew bits and people. One anonymous person on the street got the ball rolling. He thought someone who had seen part of the fight lived in a different motel” across the street from the Tahoe Queen Motel.

Arroyo and McChesney are charged with assault causing great bodily injury. McChesney made bail the $55,000 bail Dec. 26, while Arroyo bonded out five days later. The two will be summoned to South Lake Tahoe for court appearances, said Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe.

— Contact William Ferchland at

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