YAKIMA — Yakima County Sheriff’s detectives continue their investigation into a first-degree assault case involving a Granger woman and her boyfriend, whom they say is from Sunnyside.
Last Thursday, Yakima Police started the investigation after personnel at a Yakima hospital alerted them the woman was being treated for multiple stab wounds, Sheriff’s Sgt. C.A. Gray reported in a press release.
She initially told officers she’d fallen on a knife, but the story didn’t align with the number and type of wounds she suffered to the chest and arm, prompting police to press her further.
Later that evening, police made contact with a man who was wandering in traffic, learning he had a Colorado warrant.
The man was identified as Tranquilino Jose Mercado, 36, of Sunnyside, although court records state he is a Yakima resident. He also has a couple aliases, including Tranquilino Jose Cantu-Mercado.
In his possession, was a cell phone that belonged to the woman who’d been at the hospital.
He was arrested and the officer investigating the assault returned to the hospital to explain to the victim how her cell phone was located.
The victim’s family helped convince her to tell the officer what really happened to her, and it was then learned the assault took place outside Granger city limits.
The victim stated Mercada accused her of trying to get his brother killed, court records state.
After giving the victim his shirt for her wounds, he allegedly drove her to the hospital.
Mercado appeared in Yakima County Superior Court on Friday, July 12, for a preliminary hearing during which Judge Richard Bartheld set bail at $100,000 for first-degree domestic violence assault and another $100,000 for being a fugitive from justice. His arraignment is set for July 26.
According to news reports in Colorado, Mercado has assaulted previous victims with a knife.