"In the state's view, this was not a fight. This was an assault."
That's Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler's perspective of a New London incident which sent a male victim, now 28, to Fisher-Titus Medical Center with a fractured jaw.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo shared a different perspective with the jury Wednesday.
"This is the case of the bully with the glass jaw. ... He started a fight he couldn't finish," Longo said during his opening statement Wednesday.
The defendant, Nicholas A. Kidd, 25, of 1546 S. U.S. 250, New London, is charged with felonious assault in connection with a Sept. 24 incident. If convicted of the second-degree felony, he faces two to eight years in prison.
Longo alleged the suspected victim picked a fight with Kidd, who is 50 pounds lighter and about six inches shorter than the other man. The public defender said the evidence will show the other man started the fight and later "claimed the title of victim."
"I felt like I couldn't get away," Kidd said from the stand Wednesday. "He'd already came at me. He'd already hit me."
Before hitting the man, Kidd said he told the victim to get away from him.
"I told him the day had been long enough," Kidd said. "He came up and got nose to nose in my face. ... He butted me in the face -- enough to make me blurry."
New London Police Sgt. Joe Hicks investigated the assault in the 100 block of North Main Street. The victim was using a riding lawnmower to cut his uncle's grass along the right side of the yard when Kidd was walking on the sidewalk.
The victim, his uncle, a Fisher-Titus Medical Center emergency room (E.R.) doctor, Hicks and Kidd testified Wednesday.
"For certain, the victim has a broken jaw from this. ... We know he was hit on the left side (of his face)," Leffler said. "We also know there is extreme pain."
Dr. Erin Kurtz saw the victim Sept. 27 in the Fisher-Titus E.R. She said the man appeared to be uncomfortable and the left side of his face was swollen.
"I do remember he was in a lot of pain," Kurtz said.
The doctor took an X-ray, which she said indicated the victim sustained a "simple fracture," meaning there was a single break.
Leffler told the jury what reportedly happened before the suspected assault.
"The defendant called him a pedophile," he said.
"It's repeated several times," Leffler said because the victim couldn't hear Kidd since the mower was running.
Kidd denied calling the man anything and said he didn't know the victim was a sex offender until this case. The victim is a registered sex offender, but the Reflector isn't naming him because he reportedly was the victim of a crime.
"He (Kidd) said, 'Get off the mower. I'm going to beat your (tail),'" Leffler said.
Kidd said the victim got "nose to nose" with him on the sidewalk without any provocation, got in his "personal space" and bumped him, Leffler said.
"There's no doubt this is a fisticuffs case," he told the jury.
Longo agreed the victim stood in front of Kidd, but he said they likely weren't nose to nose because of their differences in their height.
"He was yelling and screaming at (Kidd)," said Longo, who quoted the victim as saying, "Are you talking (crap) about me?"
"He (Kidd) got head-butted. It didn't do any damage, but it stunned him," Kidd's attorney said.
Kidd could make out where the other man was standing and "aimed for the cheap seats," Longo said.
"He took his best shot. One shot. One punch," he said.
"This is a one-punch case," Longo told the jurors. "Unfortunately, it cracked his jaw."
By the time the victim's uncle arrived in the front yard, he found his nephew laying on the ground "like a bag of rocks," Longo said.
"He appeared to be unconscious. He didn't fetal up," Kidd said. "It scared me. ... That's when I walked away."
Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning.