By Carey Restino
A Homer man who was acquitted in 2008 for shooting and killing a man in Old Town Homer has been charged with two counts of third-degree assault for allegedly hitting a neighbor with brass knuckles and stabbing him with a switchblade.
Police were called to the scene Nov. 11 around 2 a.m. when Robert Tech, 47, who is also known as “Turkey Joe,” reported he had been assaulted by Charles Young, 61, known in town as “Yukon Charlie.” The two men are neighbors in a complex of cabins at the end of East Bunnell Avenue.
According to court documents filed in the case, Homer Police found Tech in the bus he was living in. The man had a gash on the top of his head and was bleeding. Tech said he had been punched in the head and face repeatedly. He also showed police a tear on the left side of his coat. Medics later found a light cut on Tech’s skin under the coat.
Police found Young in a neighbor’s home. They found a pink and black folding switch-blade knife in his pocket as well as brass knuckles and a Leatherman. Young reportedly took full responsibility for what he had done to Tech, police said.
Young stated he had gone to his neighbor’s house to smoke some marijuana when Tech joined them and started to anger him with incessant talking.
“Young stated he put the brass knuckles on and started tapping Tech’s head with them while telling Tech to stop talking,” Homer Police Officer Jacob Ruebelmann reported.
When Tech kept talking, Young reportedly said he hit Tech harder and harder.
Young reportedly used the switchblade to “distract Tech from the hits he was delivering with the brass knuckles,” the report stated. He said he knew Tech had layers of clothing so he wouldn’t be stabbed by the knife. Young allegedly told police he did not want to stab Tech, but just “wanted to send a message.”
Young reportedly told police Tech still did not shut up, so he continued to hit him.
“You count the number of times I hit him, to get him to shut up,” Young allegedly told Ruebelmann.
The report stated that Young told police Tech did not hit him back because “I have been a leader of men all my life.”
Young was charged with first degree murder in 2008 after shooting and killing Michael Swanger, 35, in the same neighborhood where the more recent assault took place. The charges were dismissed based on self-defense. In that case, the state said it was unable to disprove Young’s self-defense argument.
Young told police he had tried to get Swanger to leave by threatening him with a loaded handgun, but Swanger became angry and took the gun from him, pointing it at him and firing several rounds outside the residence.
Young said when Swanger pointed the revolver at his face, he grabbed a 12-guage, double barrel shotgun from under his bed and shot Swanger in the abdomen.
Young has been remanded to the Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Both counts of assault charges are felonies. Preliminary hearings in the case are scheduled for later this week and early December.
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