Johnson City police: Tipton Street assault resulted from confrontation about laugh

Johnson City Press • Updated Feb 6, 2018 at 6:28 PM

A witness told police a downtown Johnson City assault that critically injured a man last weekend resulted from a confrontation regarding a laugh.

Nicholas Ward was hospitalized in critical condition after police found him lying in the road outside Tipton Street Pub around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

According to a court record filed by Johnson City Police Investigator David Hilton, Ward was found outside the pub groaning and bleeding from his ear. Ward underwent two surgeries at Johnson City Medical Center, where scans revealed a bilateral brain bleed. Ward’s condition was initially described as critical in reports. An updated condition was not available Tuesday.

Police later charged Lloyd Alexander Yonce, 22, 194 Woodland Drive, with aggravated assault.

Hilton reported a witness told police he and Ward had been standing outside the pub when a silver Honda pulled up. A front-seat passenger, who was later identified as Yonce, was arguing with someone in the car, and Ward laughed. The passenger asked the pair if they had a problem and got out of the car. The witness told police the passenger struck Ward once, knocking him out.

The witness also described one of the people in the group, and Tipton Street Pub employees identified that man as Jamie Sanchez. Hilton and other police went to Sanchez’ residence on Woodland Drive, which shared a driveway with Yonce’s residence, where they found Yonce. Hilton asked whether he knew where Sanchez was that night, and Yonce stated that Sanchez had picked him up, according to the court record.

In a news release, police had said Yonce admitted striking Ward.

Yonce was arraigned Monday in Sessions Court and released on $50,000 bond. He is due back in court March 5.

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