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Man claims group assault, but investigation indicates 1-on-1 fight

February 16, 2011 - It started with a 19-year-old Oxford man claiming a group of Oxford High School students assaulted him Feb. 10 outside his home and that one of them used a baseball bat or stick.

But now it appears the incident might have been just a fight between two guys involving only fisticuffs.

No charges have been issued or arrests made as the Oakland County Sheriff's Dept. continues to investigate this incident before sending it to the prosecutor's office for review

On Monday, sheriff's Sgt. Scott Patterson noted that after interviewing all but one of the witnesses, it appears that it was actually a "one-on-one fight with no weapons involved."

After interviewing the alleged victim again on Tuesday, Patterson said, "He's not sure now if there was even a weapon involved. He still believes he was hit by another person, but all the information we've got is showing it was a one-on-one fight."

"His recollection of things is good for the first five minutes, but not anything after that. It's hazy," Patterson noted.

Despite rumors that have been swirling around the community, Patterson stated that absolutely none of the students involved were members of the OHS wrestling team.

According to the initial sheriff's report, the alleged victim, who lives on Stacey Ct., claimed he was attacked by approximately 11 subjects after one of them, a 16-year-old junior at OHS, threatened him with bodily harm on Facebook.

The alleged victim stated that when he arrived home from work, this OHS junior was waiting for him along with approximately 10 other male subjects in three separate vehicles.

The alleged victim told investigators that "several" of them began assaulting him and one them struck him on the back of the head with what he believes was a baseball bat.

In subsequent interviews with the alleged victim, the story changed from a baseball bat to a possible stick to an uncertainty of whether or not a weapon was involved.

Following the alleged assault, the subjects fled the scene, according to the report.

The alleged victim's mother told police she found her son bleeding and unconscious. When he regained consciousness, the mother transported him to POH Regional Medical Center's Oxford campus.

In his report, the deputy noted he observed the alleged victim's nose was bleeding and "obviously broken." The victim had a "large bump on the back of his head" and medical staff indicated he had received a concussion, according to the report.

Sheriff's investigators the next day interviewed the OHS junior who the victim identified as the alleged perpetrator of the Facebook threat and as being present for the alleged assault.

The OHS junior indicated that the alleged victim had been "taunting" him to fight and had even sent him his address with an invitation, according to the report.

Investigators confirmed this with copies of Facebook posts in which the alleged victim invited the OHS junior over to his house for a fight and provided his address.

"He didn't think the kid was going to follow through and do it," Patterson said.

The OHS junior told police that while attending the school basketball game Feb. 10, he decided to go over to the alleged victim's house and confront him.

Six other male students went with the OHS junior to the alleged victim's house. This group included four OHS 11th-graders, one OHS 10th-grader and a teenager who is home-schooled.

The OHS junior "intended to confront (the alleged victim) by himself, but the others followed to watch," the report stated.

The OHS junior indicated the alleged victim told him to wait at his house until he got there.

When the alleged victim arrived, the OHS junior told police they exchanged words and the alleged victim hit him first.

A fight ensued.

The OHS junior told police the students who followed him "did not participate in the fight at all and that at no time did anyone strike anyone with anything other than their hands."

As for how the alleged victim received the bump on the back of his head, the OHS junior told police he believes the alleged victim may have hit his head on a parked truck during the fight.

His statement is backed by witness statements.

"Multiple witnesses say that during the course of the fight, (the alleged victim) fell down towards the truck and hit the back of his head (on) the truck," Patterson said.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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