GreeneStreets. Feature photo of a back country road in Greene County, Indiana. Courtesy of Nick Schneider.

Uninvited party guest accused of throwing a punch, facing trial on felony charge

Kaleb Bridges

Kaleb Bridges

An uninvited guest at a party in Linton this spring has been charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury for allegedly punching another man, knocking him out. The victim, first treated in the emergency room, required surgery for his injuries. He suffered multiple breaks to his jaw and nose and had surgical screws and a plate placed in his jaw. The suspect hired an attorney and refused to answer questions. The defense requested a jury trial and the case will likely not be resolved until fall.

After the Level 5 felony charge was filed against Kaleb Bridges, 26, and a warrant issued for his arrest, he turned himself in to the jail on April 23. His bond was set at $10,000 surety with ten percent allowed. He posted $1,000 cash and was released later the same day.

Records at the jail show Bridges with a home address in Jasonville. The court record shows him with a home address in Linton.

The case was investigated by Linton Police Officer Nick Yingling. LPD Officer Indiana Miller was the first officer on the scene, around 2 a.m. on Saturday, April 14. Officer Yingling and LPD Reserve Officer Kent Medlock arrived right behind Miller.

They first spoke with the owner of the residence who said there had been a fight, and he showed the officers blood in the bathroom and the kitchen. According to information reported by Officer Yingling, the owner said Bridges had come into the home and punched another man. He said the man was “messed up pretty bad” and was at the hospital.

During a later interview, the owner said he had invited some people, all over the age of 21, to a party but more people came and before he knew it, he had a full house. Bridges had not been invited.

The owner told Yingling when he heard a loud noise coming from his kitchen, he walked there and saw the victim on the floor. The owner and another man tried to assist him, helping him get up though he could barely stand. He owner then told people to leave.

Bridges had left the party before the officers arrived. They located him at another residence. He allegedly did say he had gone to the party but in response to every other question asked, he said his lawyer told him not to answer questions.

Yingling then interviewed numerous individuals who were at the party. Many said they didn’t know anything, didn’t see anything, maybe saw Bridges at the party but didn’t know what happened. But one was reported to have said they saw Bridges punch the man in the face then punch him again after he hit the floor.

Police say they were able to view a Snapchat video taken at the party and evidence includes witness testimony and text messages exchanged between individuals who were aware that Bridges intended to fight the victim.

When the victim was interviewed in the emergency room, he said he had dated a family member of Bridges but he and Bridges had never gotten along. Yingling’s narrative states that the victim said he was in the kitchen talking to someone when he was hit in the jaw by Bridges, but he could not remember what happened after that. In a later interview, Yingling learned the man had undergone surgery.

This case is currently scheduled to go to trial in September with Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw representing the State and Attorney Joseph Lozano of Shapiro & Lozano in Bloomington representing the defendant.