LAPORTE | A Michigan City man is accused of seriously injuring another person during a fight outside a downtown LaPorte bar.
However, Ruben Lagunas, 29, of 210 Main St., was unable to appear for his Friday arraignment in LaPorte Circuit Court, where he is charged with Class C felony battery. According to courtroom officials, Lagunas, following his arrest, was taken into custody by U.S. immigration officials for possible deportation.
On July 21, LaPorte police officers observed Lagunas punch a man outside Avenue Bar at Michigan Avenue and Lincolnway. Court documents revealed that the man was knocked unconscious and diagnosed at the hospital with a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain.
Lagunas told investigators he acted in self defense, claiming the man appeared to be reaching for something when he punched him in the face. Bar patrons told police Lagunas and the alleged victim were both fighting inside the bar.
LaPorte County Police Maj. George Ritter said U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement picked up Lagunas on Thursday. A hold had been placed on Lagunas by ICE, which did not disclose why the defendant was placed in federal custody, said Ritter.
Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said immigration officials usually place a hold on a defendant to deport them if they are in the country illegally or if they have a warrant for their arrest from another jurisdiction.