Warrants issued in new year's bar brawl

Jon Wilcox By Jon Wilcox

Jan. 2, 2018 at 9:21 p.m.
Updated Jan. 3, 2018 at 6 a.m.

Moments after midnight, a pool cue to the head cut short a Goliad man's new year celebrations.

"Everything was fine in the bar. The next second, it was a big old brawl," said Shannon Franke, owner of The Dawg House.

During the fight, another man suffered a stab wound to his torso, and a woman was knocked out with a beer bottle, said Capt. John Pape, Goliad County Sheriff's Office.

The injuries, Pape said, were serious enough for the trio to be taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro but were not life-threatening.

Tuesday afternoon, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Susan Moore signed warrants charging Goliad residents Benjamin Angel Martinez, 41, of two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and Melissa Diana Ybarbo, 29, with one count. Ybarbo is accused of wielding the beer bottle. Both fled from the bar before authorities arrived.

As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Martinez and Ybarbo remained at large; although Pape said he was not worried about finding the pair as they are residents of the county.

The Goliad County Sheriff's Office was unable to provide mug shots for either.

"Our people are out looking for them," Pape said.

While Franke said she did not witness the violence, she said the fighting broke out after a man was struck with a pool cue.

"When you break a pool stick over someone's head, it doesn't break off like it does in the movies," Pape said. "The victim had a very significant laceration."

Franke, who has owned The Dawg House, 136 N. Courthouse Square, for about two years, said she was shocked by the violence. Fighting, she said, is extremely rare at her bar.

In fact, patrons were dancing, playing pool and having fun moments before the fight occurred, she said.

"All hell broke loose," Franke said.

Although Pape said he, too, doesn't know why the fight started, he has a few ideas as to what contributed to it.

"When they say drink responsibly during the holidays, they don't necessarily mean driving," he said.


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