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ARTESIA — An Artesia man was arrested Sunday for felony aggravated battery following a fight.

Artesia Police Department officers were dispatched around 7:30 p.m. Sunday to the 3800 block of West Missouri Avenue in reference to a fight in progress. While en route, officers encountered a male subject covered in blood.

The man, later identified as Harvey Rodriguez, 25, of Artesia, declined EMS attention and, according to the criminal complaint, told police the blood “belonged to the other individual involved.”

Rodriguez went on to tell police he had been drinking with the subject in question, who then “sucker punched” him while transporting him home. He said he proceeded to “beat up” the other individual; officers called for an ambulance for that man based on the amount of blood on Rodriguez’s person.

After arriving at the original address, police made contact with the male subject, who stated he had fought with Rodriguez. According to the complaint, the man told officers that, while on the way to Rodriguez’s home, Rodriguez had begun striking him. He ordered Rodriguez out of his vehicle and returned home.

The man further told police he soon after heard someone yelling outside and called dispatch. While on the phone, Rodriguez came up and began hitting him again. During the ensuing fight, the man stated another male subject exited a silver car and began punching and kicking him. The fight ended when a neighbor witnessed the male being attacked and intervened.

The complaint states that witnesses in the area confirmed seeing Rodriguez approach the original man and begin punching him and the second man join in as well.

Rodriguez was subsequently charged with aggravated battery inflicting great bodily harm. He is scheduled to appear for preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Sept. 11 before Judge Jimmy C. Foster in Artesia Magistrate Court.