Man accused of assault facing trial

An Altoona man accused of breaking a man’s jaw outside a city bar will face trial.

Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker pointed out after watching video surveillance footage from outside the Monkey Wharf, 601 Fourth Ave., that it was clear police had enough evidence to send aggravated assault and related charges against Davon “Flip” Smith, 28, of Altoona on to Blair County Court.

“The court doesn’t view this as a mutual fight,” Auker said, adding the footage showed a “sneak attack” by Smith on the patron of the bar who had walked outside after noticing Smith arguing with a woman on the bar’s surveillance cameras about 1 a.m.

The patron testified two women came into the bar as he was getting up to go outside and said they needed help. Smith and a woman were arguing outside, and the man said he heard the woman say, “Don’t touch me.”

The woman turned out to be Smith’s girlfriend, and when the patron intervened to separate the two, she asked Smith, “You scared of a white boy,” the patron testified.

The court watched video from the bar that shows Smith leave and then return, attacking the patron by surprise.

“I remember getting hit twice while standing and a couple of times in the back of the head when I hit the ground,” the patron testified, adding Smith also kicked him.

The patron said from the way the punches felt, he suspected Smith was using brass knuckles when he punched him.

The attack left the man’s jaw broken in two places, Altoona Patrolman Ryan Caputo testified. Smith’s attorney, Catherine Miller, argued that felony aggravated assault charges require intent to cause serious bodily injury, a “very, very, very high standard.”

“While a broken jaw is not a fun thing to deal with, it’s treatable,” Miller said. “It will heal.”

Assistant District Attorney Pete Weeks countered that, just because the victim’s injuries will heal, doesn’t rule out aggravated assault.

“Gun shots will heal, baseball bat strikes will heal,” Weeks said. “This was unprovoked. This was not a mutual fight.”

Smith, who was out on bail for unrelated gun and drug charges when the assault occurred, appeared in Blair County Court on Tuesday where he agreed to the revocation of his bail. Smith remains in Blair County Prison with his formal arraignment scheduled for Aug. 22 in Blair County Court.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.