Harlingen man enters guilty plea in assault case


A Harlingen man indicted late last year on kidnapping and assault charges appeared in court in Brownsville to enter a guilty plea in the case.

Rodolfo Pineda Jr., 26, appeared in handcuffs before Judge Benjamin Euresti, Jr. in the 107th state District Court on Tuesday morning. He pleaded guilty to a charge of punching a woman in the face, biting her and then pushing her out of her own truck.

An attorney for the state announced that it would drop the remaining three counts of the indictment handed down by a grand jury on Dec. 18.

A second case against Pineda involving two charges — burglary of a building and theft of property, filed on Nov. 4 — was being dismissed, the court announced.

Pineda waived the reading of the indictment through his attorney. Euresti informed Pineda that the range of punishment for his guilty plea is between two to 10 years in the custody of the Texas Department of Corrections, as well as up to a $10,000 fine. Pineda will be sentenced at a later date.

In its first count, the indictment alleged that Pineda held B.C., a pseudonym, hostage for ransom or reward or to terrorize Olivia Rodriguez, the mother of B.C. by intentionally or knowingly abducting B.C. on Oct. 22.

The charges specified that Rodriguez was a member of Pineda’s family or someone with whom he had a dating relationship.

Count two charged Pineda with allegedly impeding Rodriguez’s breathing and circulation by applying pressure to her throat or neck. A third count alleged that the man operated Rodriguez’s vehicle without her consent.

The fourth count alleged Pineda punched the woman in the face, bit her and then pushed her out of her own truck.