December 22, 2014

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Police say witnesses not cooperating in assault investigation

OBERLIN – Police said witnesses have not cooperated with an investigation of an assault at B McK’s Public House in December in which a man went to the hospital with severe injuries.

The alleged victim, Robert Smith, was a member of Oberlin POWER, which stands for Providing Oberlin with Efficiency Responsibility.

POWER is a grassroots organization with a mission to increase the energy efficiency of homes in Oberlin, according to its website.

Smith was discharged from  MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland this week after being transferred there from Mercy Allen Hospital on Dec. 21 with brain bleeding and fractures to his face.

Police Lt. Mike McCloskey said officers haven’t had a chance to speak with Smith yet, due to his condition.

The investigation has proved difficult, as witnesses at the bar refused to cooperate with police, according to a police report.

Officers were called to B McK’s, located at 38 South Main St., at 12:27 a.m. Dec. 21 after receiving an emergency call regarding a fight. An officer observed a man being restrained behind The Feve as he was yelling that “some people knocked a man out,” according to the report.

Smith was later found in an alley near B McK’s, and he was unconscious with severe injuries.

Officers spoke with the witness at The Feve, who told police he could identify the assailant. He walked over to B McK’s but did not identify the person and later disappeared as the officer returned to check on Smith, police said.

Several witnesses in the bar told police that Smith had been trying to dance with all of the women at the bar and was intoxicated, but the witnesses refused to identify the assailant.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.