WILMINGTON, Ohio (WXIX) – Prosecutors are left guessing after a Clinton County grand jury declined to indict a man accused of violently beating another man with a club.
The incident was filmed by a security camera.
Both men were first charged in the incident. Charges against the alleged victim have been dropped, meaning neither man will spend any time behind bars.
For this reason, we are withholding the surnames of those involved.
It happened last November outside The Outpost, a few miles southwest of downtown Wilmington. According to court documents, a man named William was driving behind a man named Joe on the road.
At one point, according to court documents, John slammed on the brakes. William says John gave him the middle finger. William then followed John as he entered the Outpost parking lot.
“It was road rage,” William said Tuesday.
William remembers getting out of his vehicle and asking John what had happened. “He started getting mad,” William said, “so I got back in my car, drove off. [and] he came to my door and started yelling at me.
That’s when the fight got physical. John maintains that he acted in self-defense, which William disputes.
“I had the club,” William admitted, “but he took the club from me, and I got out of the car, and he started hitting me with it. He hit me seven times with the club.
William says he has knots on the side of his head from where John allegedly hit him with the club. Sixteen stitches and four months later, he says he still has painful headaches.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested John for felony assault after viewing the video. William was also charged. But while a grand jury chose to indict William, they spared John.
“I was being accused of something I didn’t do,” William protested.
The Clinton County District Attorney’s Office released a statement saying, “The reasons for charging William and not charging John are unknown to our office.”
Prosecutors say the grand jury may have chosen to indict William for following John to the outpost and for possession of the weapon used in the alleged assault. Regardless, the charges against William were dropped, as John decided he didn’t want the state to press charges against the man he is accused of bludgeoning.
William, on the other hand, wants to see John charged.
Now William says he regrets confronting John and urges people to move on if they are in a road rage situation.
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