Assault charge dismissed against defendant accused of hitting man with shovel

Cary Ashby • Nov 9, 2012 at 5:43 PM

An assault charge has been dismissed against a rural Greenwich man accused of hitting a man in the head and face with a shovel.

Brandon M. Oney, 35, of 2803 Rome Greenwich Road, originally was charged with felonious assault in connection with a May 27 incident.

The second-degree felony, in June, was transferred to Huron County Common Pleas Court for a possible grand jury indictment only to have grand jurors decide a felony wasn't warranted. On July 16, the case came back to Norwalk Municipal Court for possible prosecution as assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Based on "newly discovered evidence," Norwalk Assistant Law Director Scott Christophel has decided to dismiss the case against Oney, according to court records. Christophel couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

Oney has said he was outside his house with his three children when the suspected victim, Thomas Rush, 22, of Mansfield, reportedly "came at me and I hit him one time." Oney had accused Rush of earlier kicking his dog.

Rush told reporters a different story.

He was out for a walk with his girlfriend, depressed after learning his grandmother had died. Rush said two boxer dogs ran toward them and he used his foot to protect his girlfriend.

Oney reportedly came running from his house with a shovel and hit Rush several times, Rush said. Then, when Rush was on the ground, Oney is accused of jumping on him and punching him several times.

Rush was treated at Fisher-Titus Medical Center and released.

Oney was released from the Huron County Jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

"This has all been pushed by this kid's dad. If you get bashed in the head three times, you should have more than a knot on your head," Oney earlier told the Reflector.

He had accused Rush's father of trying to sue him.

"My family has money, but I don't have any," said Oney, whose trial had been scheduled for Friday.

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