The son of former Apache Junction Vice Mayor Robert Eck Jr. also is facing aggravated assault-related charges in connection with an alleged road rage incident involving his father more than a year ago.
Robert Eck III, 22, was indicted last week by a Gila County grand jury on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with intent to injure in connection with an incident involving Eric Martinez and his wife in Apache Junction in 2009. Eck will be arraigned on the felony charge in Pinal County Superior Court by Judge Dwight Callahan on Friday morning, according to a court clerk.
On Oct. 2, 2009, according to police and court documents, Eck III stepped out of his father’s truck at the intersection of Idaho Road and Old West Highway about noon and hit Martinez, 36, in the back once with a T-shaped metal pipe before Martinez wrestled the pipe away. Martinez admitted to knocking Eck III to the ground with an open-handed hit to the face after he said Eck III hit him in the back with the pipe.
Eric Martinez said Eck Jr. twice purposely slammed into the back of his stopped motorcycle at the intersection, knocking his wife off the second time. Martinez’s wife was flown to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries; Eck Jr. also was treated.
Eck Jr. says he hit the motorcycle a second time after Martinez punched him in the face while he was sitting in the driver’s seat.
The confrontation happened about 30 minutes after Eck was escorted off the grounds of Central Arizona College, where he voiced displeasure with a worker for not admitting his son into “fun” classes, according to documents from the college.
Eck Jr. resigned from his post as vice mayor in October soon after he was indicted on charges related to the incident and now serves as a councilmember. He was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal assault, DUI and misdemeanor assault, according to court records. He also was indicted by a Gila County grand jury, according to information from the Pinal County Attorney’s Office.
Eck has not returned telephone calls from the Tribune seeking comment. His trial is scheduled to begin in June.
“We just want justice,” Eric Martinez told the Tribune on Monday. “We just want to see the right thing done. When I was charged with misdemeanor assault for hitting him, he said I should go to prison. We only wish the same for him and his son.”
Martinez was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault against the Ecks, but they were dismissed because witnesses testified he was defending himself.
The Martinezes initially requested the Ecks pay their medical bills and pay more than $7,000 in damage to his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, but Eck declined. Martinez also has filed a civil lawsuit against Eck Jr. seeking to have his medical bills and motorcycle repair paid because Eck allegedly ran over it during the confrontation, according to court documents.