Police: Man beaten in the face with flashlight in Farmington

Posted Jan. 11, 2011, at 7:42 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A Franklin County judge lowered a local man’s bail from $10,000 cash to $1,500 cash and a pretrial agreement Monday after police said he beat a 23-year-old man with a flashlight on the head and face early Saturday.

Justin M. Crowley-Smilek, 27, of Farmington was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault, Farmington police Chief Jack Peck said Monday.

A conviction on the charge carries up to 10 years in jail.

The victim told police he had too much to drink and was sleeping in his car parked at Front Street Tavern parking lot, when he realized two men had gotten in and asked for a ride, Peck said.

The victim refused to give them a ride, Peck said, and asked them to leave or he was calling 911. They then offered to buy the vehicle, he said.

While the victim was attempting to call 911, one of the men opened the door and started beating the victim over the head and face, Peck said.

Crowley-Smilek made an initial appearance at Farmington District Court. A district attorney was not available but submitted a memorandum on bail, Judge Valerie Stanfill said.

The prosecutor asked for $10,000 cash bail and conditions of no possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs and no contact the victim, Stanfill said.

Crowley-Smilek had been held at the Franklin County jail since Saturday on $10,000 cash bail.

Defense attorney, Kevin Joyce said that Crowley-Smilek lived on Court Street and has family in the area. He said Crowley-Smilek, a disabled veteran, could not afford $10,000 but could pay $1,500 and be on a pre-trial service agreement.

Stanfill went along with Joyce’s request.

Peck said prior to Crowley-Smilek’s court appearance that police responded to a report of a man who had been assaulted at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday at the Tavern parking lot. When police arrived the victim’s face and head were covered with blood and he had facial injuries, Peck said.

The person who had assaulted him had left the scene.

About 15 minutes later, another report of a fight at 401 High St. was reported. Police officer William Tanner responded to that one while Sgt. Peter Barker stayed behind interviewing the victim.

When Tanner arrived someone said that’s the person that assaulted someone in the Front Street Tavern lot, Peck said.

Crowley-Smilek was the one the witness was referring to, Peck said. His hands and pants were covered in blood, he said.

According to Tanner’s affidavit filed with the court, when he responded to Front Street Tavern, he saw a victim with “major head trauma.”

When he responded to the High Street fight, he realized that Crowley-Smilek had been involved in the Front Street fight, the affidavit states.

Crowley-Smilek admitted to assaulting the victim with his “SureFire” flashlight. The flashlight was also covered in blood, Tanner wrote.

The victim was taken to a hospital and treated and released, Peck said.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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