City man going to trial in apartment assault

2013-07-19T08:00:00Z 2013-12-24T02:36:15Z City man going to trial in apartment assaultBy Jim Osborn / josborn@columbustelegram.com Columbus Telegram
July 19, 2013 8:00 am  • 

COLUMBUS — A 36-year-old Columbus man accused of seriously injuring another city man after pushing him down a flight of stairs at a downtown apartment building is headed for trial in district court.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa bound Jason Fisher over for trial on a charge of first-degree assault after the defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case.

Skorupa set Fisher for arraignment July 23.

Fisher is charged with assault in the May 30 incident that left 57-year-old William Jorgensen in critical condition with a crushed pelvis that has required five surgeries during a lengthy stay at a Lincoln hospital.

First-degree assault is a Class II felony, punishable by a maximum of 50 years imprisonment and a minimum of one year in prison.

Fisher has been in custody at the county jail since his July 3 arrest.

Court documents in the case describe an incident that began shortly after 8 p.m. May 30 when Columbus Rescue and police personnel responded to a report of an injured man at the Randall Apartments in the 1500 block of 26th Avenue.

The victim, later identified as Jorgensen, was rushed to Columbus Community Hospital and later transferred to BryanLGH Hospital in Lincoln. Jorgensen was in critical condition when he left Columbus.

Jorgensen told a Columbus emergency room nurse someone pushed him down the stairs “as hard as they could,” causing his injuries, Columbus Police Investigator Heath Haynes said in his statement supporting Fisher’s arrest.

“At the time, Jorgensen said he did not know who pushed him down the stairs,’’ Haynes said.

In mid-June, a local employer reported to police he overheard an employee and former employee, Fisher, arguing about “how Fisher had threw a man down a flight of stairs” a couple of weeks earlier.

After talking more with witnesses, Haynes said Jorgensen went to the apartment the night of the incident to retrieve some property he left there and had permission from the tenant to be in the apartment.

When the victim arrived, Fisher was in the apartment, but the tenant was not, Haynes said. A disagreement ensued, with Fisher forcefully pushing the victim out of the apartment, the investigator said.

“Jorgensen said he walked out the front door and was standing at the top of the stairs. Jorgensen then said that Jason (Fisher) then shoved him as hard as he could down the stairs,” Haynes said.

The victim said he fell to the landing halfway down the stairs and hit the wall, heard something crack and was in a great deal of pain, the investigator said.

“Eventually Jason and another male subject dragged him down the stairs and out to the front of the lawn of the apartment and left him,” Haynes said the victim reported. The victim continued to yell in pain, and a short time later someone called 911, the investigator said.

Jorgensen is expected to remain in traction at BryanLGH for a few more weeks before it’s determined if he will need more surgery, and then be transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

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