Thursday, January 3, 2013
Man testifies that he feared for his life during attack
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
He sat in a recliner in his Bristol apartment watching TV when he heard the front door open and heavy footsteps like someone in a hurry.
The next thing the man knew he was on the floor begging for his life as two men beat him bloody, splitting open his head and breaking a rib. When the man tried to escape, he was hit in the head with his own guitar, police said.
“I said, ‘Please stop. You’re going to kill me,’” the man testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing for one of his alleged attackers, Tony Blount, 31, of Bristol Township. “They told me they were pretty much going to finish me.”
Blount is charged with aggravated assault and burglary as well as criminal trespassing and related offenses in the Sept. 22 attack. Police expect to soon arrest a second suspect, Bristol Sgt. Joe Moors said Wednesday.
The victim, who appeared in court wearing a neck brace, testified that the attack took him by surprise and left him with injuries that require continuing medical treatment.
Police say that the attack occurred hours after a confrontation at a card game at the victim’s Lincoln Avenue house, where he lives with his girlfriend. The home is divided into three apartments, including one where Blount’s parents lived at the time, police said. The victim’s girlfriend and Blount’s mother are sisters, and their late uncle also lived in an apartment there.
Tony Blount was at the house the night before the alleged attack when an argument broke out and Blount’s mother was “accidentally” pushed while trying to intervene, police said.
The victim testified that during the assault he apologized to Blount for allegedly hitting his mother. Under cross examination, though, the man said he didn’t remember hitting Blount’s mother.
The victim testified that he managed to break free and run to the front door but was then hit in the back of the head with two “objects” — one he believed was his guitar. Before he could unlock the front door and escape, he said, the men caught up with him and continued the beating, he testified.
The victim said he did not fight back or defend himself.
“I kept begging for my life over and over,” he said. “I made my peace. I thought I was dead.”
He survived, but required nearly two dozen staples in his head to close the wound. He also said he suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome and receives ongoing medical treatment for other pre-existing conditions aggravated by the attack.
Blount’s attorney, Niels Erickson, objected to prosecutor Brian Scanlon’s admission of a medical report listing the conditions for which his client is being treated, arguing that some clearly were unrelated to the alleged attack.
“I don’t think he caused the degenerative discs,” Erickson said, but Bristol District Judge Frank Peranteau Sr. allowed the report to be submitted as evidence.
During cross examination, the man admitted that he had known Blount for about three years and that he had visited the home several times. He testified that the front door to the home was unlocked when the attack occurred, and that the doors to the three apartments were typically left unlocked.
Erickson sought to have charges of burglary and criminal trespassing against his client dismissed, arguing that Blount’s mother lived in the house and he had permission to be there. But Peranteau disagreed, saying Blount clearly didn’t have permission to enter the victim’s apartment that night.
Peranteau held Blount for trial on all charges. He remains free on $100,000 unsecured bail.
Jo Ciavaglia: 215-949-4181; email: jciavaglia@phillyBurbs.com; Twitter: @jociavaglia