Two arrested after man dead following graduation party fight

VARDAMAN, Miss. (AP) — A father and son have been arrested in north Mississippi after a 25-year-old man was found dead in a pond after a fight at a graduation party.

Heriberto Mata died Sunday in Vardaman, according to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department.

“Tragedy. We use that word a lot,” Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan told WCBI-TV. “Something that starts out so innocently.”

Pollan told the television station that Mata, a Calhoun County resident, was at a girl’s high school graduation celebration on Saturday that continued into Sunday morning. Around 5 a.m. on Sunday, Mata approached the DJ about playing longer.

“That started an altercation that led to a physical altercation, which ultimately, unfortunately, leads us to where we are today,” Pollan said.

The fight involved as many as four people, Pollan said. Mata and a friend then left the party. Around, 1 p.m. on Sunday he was reported missing. A search and rescue team found Mata’s body in a pond later that afternoon.

Deputies arrested 48-year-old Cutberto Gutierrez and his 25-year-old son Hoscar that day, on charges of aggravated assault. Pollan said more charges could be pending, depending on the results of an autopsy report from the state medical examiner’s office.

The sheriff’s department is also searching for two to four other people in connection with Mata’s death, including some in other counties. Cutberto and Hoscar are currently out on bond.

Categories: Associated Press, Crime, Mississippi State News, News