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Rutledge charged in hatchet attack
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A man faces felony assault charges after he allegedly hit his cousin in the head with both ends of a hatchet over the weekend.
The suspect, Bobby Joe Rutledge Jr., 28, is charged with aggravated assault for striking his cousin, Khalid Whitaker, in the head twice with a hatchet during an argument at Rutledge’s residence on King Street. He will face hearing April 28. His victim suffered serious injuries but they are not believed to be life-threatening.
According to the findings of McMinnville Police Department’s preliminary investigation, a dispute broke out between the cousins in the pre-dawn hours after they had been out attending a party. When police first arrived, they found Whitaker’s grandfather accompanying his injured grandson to River Park Hospital.
“He was in the passenger seat holding a towel to his head and bleeding,” said McMinnville Police Sgt. Kenneth Seagraves.
It was from there police began piecing together what had transpired minutes earlier. According to the grandfather’s account, he was woken around 1:20 a.m. to a fight going on in his living room between his grandson, Whitaker, and son Bobby Joe Rutledge Jr.
He told police the two began brawling after a party and they were separated following their initial fight. The brawl continued, however, outside the house at which time Rutledge allegedly pulled a hatchet and struck his cousin in the head with the blunt end. Rutledge then reportedly turned the ax around and hit his cousin again, this time striking him in the head with the sharp side.
The fight was broken up by others at the house after the hatchet blows were landed. Rutledge left the scene on foot while his cousin was taken to River Park for treatment of the head wounds.
Rutledge could face three to six years in prison if convicted.