Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 22, 2013

Argument at party leads to burglary, assault

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Two men were taken to the hospital and two others arrested early Thursday after an argument at a party led to an ambush and baseball bat assault at a central Jacksonville apartment complex.

Damian Harvest, 25, and Michael Hatton, 21, both were arrested and charged with suspicion of burglary of a habitation with the commission of a felony — assault with a deadly weapon. If tried and convicted of the first-degree crime, they each face up to 99 years or life in prison.

Harvest remained in custody in Cherokee County Jail on Thursday on a $150,000 bond plus a "no bond" hold due to a parole warrant, records show. Likewise, Hatton was being held in Cherokee County Jail on Thursday in lieu of a $150,000 bond.

The two victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance and were still being treated when officers compiled the report of the incident.

"But we believe they were just treated for injuries — we don't think it was anything too bad," explained Jacksonville Police Det. Sgt. Daniel Franklin.

Sgt. Franklin said two additional suspects remain at large in connection with the alleged crime.

"We believe we know who they are," Sgt. Franklin said. "Affidavits and warrants should be issued on them in the near future."

Police became aware of the incident shortly after 12:40 a.m. Thursday. Jacksonville Police Officers received a call regarding someone believed to be breaking into a unit at Little Creek Apartments, 701 Canada Street.

Apparently, at an unspecified point earlier Wednesday evening, the two brothers who lived in the complex had attended a party on Mesa Circle, Franklin said. During the party they had a verbal disagreement with others there, and the confrontation turned physical. The two brothers subsequently were assaulted by two or three people at the party.

"The lady throwing the party broke it up, told everybody to go home and drove the two brothers back to their Little Creek apartment," Sgt. Franklin said.

After the woman dropped the two brothers off and watched them walk up the stairwell to the balcony walkway on the second floor, two of the party assailants and two additional men emerged from the shadows and assaulted one of them.

The other brother ran to his apartment and retrieved a bat to defend his sibling. But during the confusion, he lost possession of the weapon.

The four suspects began to chase the two brothers, who ran and made it into one of their apartments. But the four men broke out a window and kicked the door in. They allegedly assaulted the two brothers inside the apartment — this time with their own baseball bat.

"We're not sure how that fight got busted up, but the four suspects left the apartment," Sgt. Franklin said. "Officers surveying the complex observed two of them, who tried to elude officers on foot. The officer found them, took them into custody and made the arrest."