News and Tribune

January 29, 2013

Police: Man beaten with two-by-four

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

CLARK COUNTY — A New Albany man has been charged with multiple felonies for severely beating another man with a two-by-four last week, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Damon M. Arnold, 39, of 524 Culbertson Ave., appeared in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Monday, at which time Judge Vicki Carmichael set his bond at $75,000 cash-only. According to a report filed by a Clark County sheriff’s deputy, the man Arnold is charged with assaulting knows him, as he had dated Arnold’s cousin.

The deputy was provided details of the assault from the victim as he was lying in a bed at Clark Memorial Hospital shortly after midnight Jan. 24. The man was taken to the hospital for the injuries he sustained during the assault that took place in a Clarksville business about 9:30 p.m. the night before.

The man told the deputy that Arnold had come to his home after asking him he would help move some firewood. He told Arnold that he would, and Arnold showed up at the man’s home on East 13th Street in New Albany in a black Isuzu Trooper. Two women were present at the man’s home, according to statements the man made to the deputy, when he left with Arnold. Arnold then took the man to a garage located in the 1300 block of Emery Crossing in Clarksville.

Deputies were not able to provide the name of the business and said it may operate without an official name.

The man told the deputy that there were four to five men also in the garage when he and Arnold arrived. According to the report, Arnold then began yelling at the man and said that he had physically hurt his cousin that he had dated. The man told the deputy that the group of men surrounded him and preventing him from leaving by blocking a door.

He said that Arnold then grabbed a two-by-four piece of wood about four feet long and began his assault.

“Mr. Arnold began beating [the man] with the piece of wood, nearly knocking him unconscious on several occasions,” the deputy noted in the police report.

The man told the deputy that Arnold struck him with the piece of wood on his head, arm, neck, back and rib area. He said the assault took place for nearly 10 minutes.

“While beating [the man] with the wood, Mr. Arnold stated that he was going to kill him, and that he was not going to leave alive,” according to statements in the police report. “[Arnold] stated that he planned on putting him in the wood furnace to burn to death.”

The man told the deputy that he began praying to God because he sincerely thought he was going to die.

He said that as the assault was taking place, one of the men blocking the door approached Arnold and told him to stop. The shop owner then came into the area and became angry about what was occurring, the man told the deputy, adding that the shop owner had no idea what had been taking place.

According to the police report, the man then fled from the then-unsecured door and ran the nearly two miles back to his home. He was later taken to the hospital by a friend.

After taking the victim’s account from the hospital, the deputy contacted Arnold on the phone.

Arnold told the deputy that he had not been to Clarksville the day the assault took place. He said that he had gone to the victim’s home during the day, and only a verbal argument had taken place before he left the home by himself. The deputy then spoke to each of the women who were in the man’s house when Arnold had come to the residence.

One of the women said that the man she was visiting did not know Arnold very well at all and that he was hesitant to leave his house with Arnold, but he had anyway. She said that she saw the man and Arnold leave together in a black SUV. The second woman also corroborated the man’s story by saying that she saw him and Arnold leave his home together.

The deputy then made contact with the owner of the shop where the assault is said to have occurred. The shop owner said that he had seen the man who had been beaten by Arnold in his business. He said that he has known Arnold for a long time and that he saw something different in him when he walked into the area where the assault took place. The shop owner described Arnold that day as “a person who he didn’t recognize by his actions,” according to the police report.

The shop owner said that all the men present during the assault had fled, and that he feared they had loaded the man into the SUV and were going to kill him. The shop owner told the Clark County deputy that he had contacted the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department to be on the lookout for a black Isuzu Trooper.

The deputy then went to Arnold’s home and placed him under arrest.

After he was read his Miranda Rights, “Mr. Arnold stated that he understood [his rights], and stated that he had no clue what this was about and that he had never even saw [the victim],” according to the police report.

Arnold has been charged with aggravated battery — causing serious permanent disfigurement, a class B felony; battery committed by means of a deadly weapon or resulting in serious bodily injury, a class C felony; criminal confinement — armed with a deadly weapon, a class B felony; and habitual offender.

A pretrial conference hearing has been set for March 25.

A habitual offender charge can only be issued if an offender has been convicted of two unrelated, previous felony charges. The Office of the Clark County Prosecutor based the habitual offender charge Arnold now faces on the following convictions:

• In June 2003, he was found guilty of receiving stolen property and criminal confinement;

• In August 2006, Arnold was convicted of theft; 

• In February 2012 he was convicted of resisting law enforcement.

The convictions do not encompass Arnold’s criminal history.

He has a pending case in Floyd County Superior Court No. 2 on two A misdemeanor charges of battery resulting in bodily injury for an incident that occurred in October 2012.  The charged was issued after New Albany police were called to a home in reference to a battery.

When officers arrived, they were met by a male relative of Arnold who was found with swollen checks and eyes, a bloody nose and blood coming from his mouth, according to police records.

The man told police that, “Damon Arnold had been drinking and wanted to wrestle,” according to the probable cause affidavit and that Arnold had jumped on him and grabbed at his private area.

The man told Arnold to get off of him, but Arnold persisted and a fight escalated. 

He told police Arnold struck him in the face about a dozen times.

A pretrial conference on the two battery charges is scheduled Feb. 1.

Arnold was convicted February 2012 in a Floyd County court for an incident that occurred February 2011.

Arnold was charged with resisting law enforcement, a class D felony, operating a vehicle while intoxicated — endangering a person, a class A misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a class C misdemeanor.

He plead guilty to the first two charges and the class C misdemeanor was dismissed.

The charges resulted in two 180-day jail sentences.