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story.lead_photo.caption Daniel Caruso

BENTONVILLE -- Authorities believe a man was targeted twice by suspected gang members.

Zachary Avans, who was screaming and covered in blood, was walking on Honeysuckle Road near Lowell at 5:30 a.m. Dec. 9, according to court documents. Officers were called and later found Avans at Mercy Hospital in Rogers.

Avans told police the attack was because he has tattoos for the 18th Street Gang, but switched to another gang, according to the affidavit.

Avans told police he went with Daniel Caruso to a bonfire and several members of the 18th Street Gang attacked him, beating him with hammers and stabbing him in the head, according to court documents.

According to Avans, his attackers left him beaten and bloodied in a field, and he was scared they would come back and bury his body.

Rogers police initially went to the hospital to talk with Avans, but Lowell police handled the investigation after authorities learned the incident happened in Lowell, according to court documents.

Caruso, 33, of Springdale denied any involvement in the attack or driving Avans to the location, but told police people were out to get Avans because he jumped from "18th Street" to the "Nortenos" gang, according to court documents.

Caruso told police he heard Avans was stabbed on two occasions and thought to be dead.

One of the Rogers officers who went to the hospital to see Avans recognized him from another incident. Avans was taken April 2 to Mercy Hospital with a stab wound in his neck and back area, along with a collapsed lung, according to the affidavit.

Avans told police he was beaten by three or four males at a gas station. Avans told police he thought the fight was "gang related" because he wears read, according to the affidavit.

Rogers police interviewed a person who said the incident happened because Avans used to "rep" the 18th Street, according to court documents.

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Caruso is charged with accomplice to battery with an enhancement of engaging in violent group activity, in connection with the first incident. Joaquin Flores, 21, of Rogers is charged with battery, along with an enhancement of engaging in violent criminal group activity, in connection with both cases.

Each pleaded not guilty Monday before Circuit Judge Robin Green.

Nathaniel Hawkins, 19, of Rogers also has been charged with battery along with an enhancement of engaging in violent criminal group activity in the April case.

All three men were being held Wednesday in the Benton County Jail. Flores has a $125,000 bond, Hawkins a $38,500 bond and Caruso a $8,500 bond.

Two juveniles also were arrested.

Avans, 19, of Rogers was being held Wednesday in the Benton County Jail, facing charges of delivery of methamphetamine/cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and revocation of suspended sentence or probation. His bond is set at $32,000.

NW News on 02/01/2018

Print Headline: Men arrested in gang-related incidents

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