Arizona Park Employee Viciously Beaten by Illegal Alien Speaks Out

A federal park employee who was attacked and viciously beaten by an illegal immigrant and drug smuggler last year is finally speaking out about her ordeal.

Karen Gonzales, 60, was attacked in broad daylight as she cleaned a park bathroom. The woman suffered brain damage and now walks with a limp as a result of the beating.

Gonzales works at the Chiracahua National Monument in a remote part of Arizona East of Tuscon, close to the Mexican border, an area beset with crossings of illegal aliens and drug traffickers from Mexican cartels.

Nine months ago the employee was cleaning the women's public bathroom at the Faraway Ranch Campground when she was attacked by a man wielding a rock. The attacker was later identified as 33-year old Gilbert Gaxiola.

Gaxiola allegedly hit the woman repeatedly with the rock, so hard, in fact, that the rock shattered.

Gonzales says that her hands are still badly injured from fending off the attack. "Maybe some of it was fending off the blows, I don't know. But I know I hit him," she said.

Eventually, the woman chased the man out of the bathroom, but he eventually dragged her back there. He left her badly wounded, then stole her truck and drove off.

"He stole my truck to get back to Douglas and he was caught the very next day with a drug load," Gonzales said.

Gonzales feels that some of her departed ancestors were looking over her, keeping her alive after the attack. She also credits her family and friends for helping her recover.

KVOA in Tuscon reported, "Gilbert Gaxiola is charged with attempted first and second degree murder, armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault kidnapping, and auto theft. He goes to trial this summer."

Cochise County Sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas noted last year that the area is beset with criminal activity.

"We do have significant foot traffic and vehicle traffic that's attributed to illegal activity," Capas said.

Not far from the park, a local rancher named Rob Krentz was gunned down while checking water lines on his property. The 2010 murder was blamed on an illegal immigrant but police never solved the crime.

Krentz, whose family had been ranching in Cochise County since 1907, reported that illegal aliens had been causing damage and burglarizing his property for some time before he was murdered.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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