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Woman Wrongly Accused of Abuse Is Beaten

April 18, 2002|TINA DIRMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three women were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after they allegedly beat and doused a female neighbor with lighter fluid because they mistakenly believed she molested one of their daughters, authorities said.

Yvonne Roach, 26, of Yucca Valley was taken Tuesday to High Desert Medical Center, where she was treated for gashes to her head, a broken arm and several broken teeth, investigators said.

Authorities said Mindy Pyle, 26, believed, based on statements made by her 6-year-old daughter, that Roach had molested her child.

Pyle; Katherin Aceves, 25; and Vickie Lynne Hammond, 44, all of Yucca Valley, beat Roach with various household items, including a frying pan and a fireplace poker, said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. John Ginter.

Pyle tried to stab Roach with a kitchen knife and eventually doused the woman with lighter fluid, he said.

Neighbors called deputies.

Pyle told authorities Roach had molested her daughter.

But the 6- year-old told investigators she had not been abused by her neighbor.

"Basically, we believe the parent and the suspects involved over reacted to statements from the child," Ginter said. "They drew their own conclusions and went over there and beat her up.

"It's just crazy. And sad."

Pyle, Aceves and Hammond were each booked into the Morongo Basin Jail and are being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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