SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Two brothers have been charged with aggravated assault after a brutal attack left one man in critical condition.
According to an affidavit from the Scranton Police Department, on Friday, January 13, around 12:45 a.m., officers arrived at the Thirsty Elephant, a bar located at 932 Wyoming Avenue, in Scranton, for a reported assault.
Police say as they arrived on scene, two people were trying to help, as the victim, identified as 62-year-old, Michael Williams, was laying on the ground, bleeding from his face and his left eye was almost completely swollen shut.
According to law enforcement, a witness told police, Williams was assaulted by another man named Dylan, who was arguing with Williams inside the bar. Williams left the bar to smoke a cigarette and shortly after, Dylan, along with his friends, followed him outside.
As the affidavit reads, the witness told police they heard screaming and ran outside to see what was happening when they found Williams on the ground, unconscious, bleeding from his face. The witness said Dylan was being held back, yelling “What was I supposed to get stabbed? He had a knife.” Dylan and a group of his friends walked away from the bar when the witness came outside, police say.
According to law enforcement, the witness was able to find Dylan’s Facebook page and positively identify him as Dylan Crusen.
Police say as Williams was being transported to an area hospital, a crime scene was started on the sidewalk in front of the Thirsty Elephant, due to the extent of Williams’ injuries.
Officers say a hat belonging to Williams was on the ground, as well as several different blood spots and a blood-soaked towel another witness used to help Williams. But, there was no knife found at the crime scene or recovered from Williams, according to police.
As the affidavit reads, a short time later, one of the owners of the Thirsty Elephant arrived to provide law enforcement with security camera footage of the assault.
Police say in the video Williams exits the bar around 12:26 a.m., to smoke, a few minutes later Dylan Crusen also leaves the bar and begins arguing with Williams.
Officers say another man, identified as Brandon Crusen, then goes outside and stands between Williams and Dylan as they argue and eventually three more people exit the bar. Brandon then pushed Williams against the building and he fell backward to the ground.
According to law enforcement, in the video, Brandon pushes Dylan out of the way and kicks Williams in the face while he is still on the ground.
The affidavit says Brandon then backs away and Dylan starts to hit Williams while he is still on the ground, repeatedly punching Williams in the face and head around 10 to 12 times.
As the affidavit reads while watching the security camera footage, the witness and owner both confirm the two males are Dylan Crusen and his brother Brandon Crusen.
Police spoke with Dr. Donahue, a local emergency room doctor who treated Michael Williams after the assault.
Dr. Donahue said Williams is in critical condition as he suffered at least four breaks to his face, including a broken jaw, a broken left orbital, and a broken nose, according to the affidavit.
According to Williams’ son, Rob, the Thirsty Elephant will be hosting a benefit for Michael on Saturday, February 4, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Both Dylan and Brandon Crusen have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault attempts to cause serious bodily injury or cause injury with extreme indifference, simple assault, and harassment.
Brandon Crusen is being held at the Lackawanna County Prison on $75,000 cash bail, and Dylan is being held at the prison as well, on $50,000 cash bail.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled for the brothers on January 23 at 11:15 a.m.