Lawyer Says Vargas Is a Victim
Jul. 28, 1999
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) _ The lawyer for IBF junior middleweight champion Fernando Vargas says his client was wrongly arrested and did not assault anyone.
``We are receiving conflicting statements,'' Santa Barbara County sheriff's Sgt. Bill Turner said Tuesday without elaborating.
Vargas and four friends were arrested early Sunday, accused of beating up Doug Rossi. Sheriff's officials said Rossi stopped a fight between Vargas and the ex-boyfriend of a woman the boxer was visiting.
But Vargas' lawyer, Gregory Moreno, said the boxer did not assault Rossi or anyone else.
Vargas, 21, was visiting a woman at a home in Summerland about 4 a.m. Sunday when the unidentified ex-boyfriend arrived unannounced to visit her, Turner has said.
That man and Vargas argued, then got into a fight. The brawl was broken up by Rossi, a 23-year-old bouncer who was visiting the roommate of Vargas' companion.
Officials said the unidentified man left the home after the fight ended, but four of Vargas' friends came to the home an hour later, forced their way into the room occupied by Rossi and beat him with some kind of weapon, Turner said.
Vargas' handlers, however, said he was attacked by an uninvited guest in the house.
``Fernando Vargas was in the wrong place at the wrong time,'' said Rolando Arellano, the boxer's co-manager.
Vargas is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 23, Turner said. It will take several months to complete the investigation, which will include forensic analysis of golf clubs and a wooden club found at the scene, Turner said.
Vargas, who lives in Oxnard, retained his IBF junior middleweight title July 17 against Raul Marquez for his 17th consecutive victory.