Three in Lawless brawl arraigned

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, December 22, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - Cass County Prosecutor Victor A. Fitz has charged two Vandalia residents and a Cassopolis resident with 46 counts each for their involvement in an “extended and violent” incident late last week on Monday night at Lawless Park.
Various weapons were utilized in the melee at the county's largest park in Newberg Township, including firearms.
The defendants - Aaron A. Whitman, 17, of Vandalia; Jeremy A. Joseph, 18, of Cassopolis; and Allen T. Hatton, 18, of Vandalia - were arraigned in Fourth District Court.
Fitz said each defendant is charged with the following offenses:
Conspiracy to commit murder (punishable by life or any terms of years), one count.
Assault with intent to murder (life or any term of years), four counts.
Conspiracy to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder (10 years), one count.
Conspiracy to assault with a dangerous weapon (four years), one count.
Assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder (10 years), four counts.
Assault with a dangerous weapon (four years), nine counts.
Carrying a weapon with unlawful intent (five years), one count.
Firearm discharge from a vehicle (four years), two counts.
Felony firearm (two years consecutive), 23 counts.
According to Capt. Lyndon Parrish of the Cass County Sheriff's Office, from the investigation that has occurred to this point, it appears two groups of men met at Lawless Park Monday, Dec. 12, at approximately 11 p.m.
A fight ensued between the two parties in which clubs and firearms were used.
One subject, Ricky Armstrong, 40, of Edwardsburg, remains hospitalized at Borges Medical Center in Kalamazoo in serious but stable condition.
Two other people injured were treated and released.
Each defendant is charged with nine offenses. They are being held without bond at the Cass County Jail.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Cass County Sheriff's Office at 269/445-1560 or the Cass County Crime Tipline at 1-800-462-9328.