Police: EC man hit roommate over the head with beer bottle

·2 min read

Aug. 11—EAU CLAIRE — An Eau Claire man physically assaulted his two roommates by choking one of them and hitting the other one over the head with a beer bottle, police say.

Owen J. James, 20, 914 Lakeside Ave., was charged this week in Eau Claire County Court with felony counts of strangulation and suffocation and substantial battery, and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

A $10,000 signature bond was set for James, which prohibits him from having contact with the victims, drinking alcohol or entering taverns. He must also maintain absolute sobriety.

James returns to court Sept. 22.

According to the criminal complaint:

Eau Claire police were called to a gas station just before 4 a.m. Saturday because a bleeding man came into the business and said his roommate just attacked him.

An officer arrived at the gas station to find the man, who was holding drenched towels to his head and had blood running down his torso. The man was taken to an Eau Claire hospital, where 14 stitches were required to close his head wound.

The man said James was choking their other roommate. When the man pulled James off their roommate, James hit the man in the head with a beer bottle, which subsequently broke.

Officers then went to the apartment. James yelled insults at them from inside a bathroom. Police were eventually able to enter the apartment with the help of the landlord.

James called the officers derogatory names and demanded to be taken to a hospital because he had cuts on his hands.

After he was medically cleared at a local hospital, James was taken to the Eau Claire County Jail.

Police were unable to locate the roommate who had been choked.

The man who was hit in the head with the beer bottle said the other roommate had been arguing with James about James not paying anything toward rent and being unable to hold down a steady job.

When the man went to the other roommate's room, he found James on top of the roommate, choking him.

The man pulled James off the other roommate and thought he had calmed him down.

James then came at the man with a beer bottle.

If convicted of the felony charges, James could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.