$10k bond issued in alleged Agg Assault at dog park - Casper, WY Oil City News
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$10k bond issued in alleged Agg Assault at dog park

File; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News

CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper man is facing a charge of Aggravated Assault, after an alleged attack at an apartment complex in Casper, and was given a bond amount of $10,000 following a hearing in late July.

Paperwork filed with the Natrona County Circuit Court says that the 36-year-old male suspect was officially charged with Aggravated Assault on July 28, 2021 and was awaiting a preliminary hearing to see if the charge would be bound over to District Court.

An affidavit of probable cause from the Casper Police Department says that the suspect in the case admitted at first to striking the victim with a fist. He is then said to have eventually admitted to kicking the victim while they were down. The suspect reportedly told investigators that he and the victim had a disagreement over use of an apartment complex dog park.

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Police say that the suspect reported to them that he “grew up in the nineties,” and explained that if people had an issue they would fight, shake hands, and move on.

“[The suspect] thought that was what would happen but, when [the victim] didn’t fight back, [the suspect] stopped punching and left,” Casper Police officers write in the affidavit.

The victim in the case reportedly suffered an open head wound and multiple skull fractures, some of which required emergency surgery.

Officers say that the victim reported seeing the suspect just before 8:00 a.m. July 15 at a private apartment complex dog park, near the 3900 block of East 12th St. The victim told officers that the suspect approached the dog park area with two uncontrolled dogs, who entered the dog park and approached the victim’s dog. The victim says that they picked up their dog and left the park, and that the suspect used abusive language and racial slurs while they walked away.

The accuser then reports that at approximately 11:30 p.m. that night, they were again at the dog park with their dog, when the suspect again approached the dog park with his two dogs. While the victim bent over to pick up their dog and leave the park, they reported that the suspect kicked them in the side of the head.

During the assault it was further reported that the suspect again used abusive language and a racial slur. After the suspect kicked the victim in the head, the victim reported that the suspect ran off.

Police contacted the suspect, identified in court papers as James Edward Bauer, on July 22, 2021.

The affidavit says that Bauer told officers that they had seen the victim at the dog park on the morning of July 15 and that the victim had been verbally abusive during a disagreement over usage of the park. He then said that later that night he again saw the victim at the dog park and that his dog got close to the victim’s dog. Bauer claims that the accuser kicked Bauer’s dog in the face, and that he “saw red” and punched the accuser in the head with his fist.

“Bauer advised he was defending his dog who had been kicked by [the victim],” police write in the affidavit.

Bauer initially denied kicking the victim, police report, and said that he had punched the victim with his fists only and had injured his hand while doing so. However, when interviewed later it was reported that Bauer admitted to kicking the victim once, while they were on the ground, and then claimed to leave.

Police say that Bauer arranged to turn himself in to police on July 28, and was transported to the Natrona County Detention Center upon arrest.

A bond amount given later that day during Bauer’s appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court was reported as $10,000 cash or surety. Jail records on August 13 indicate that the suspect is no longer in custody at the jail.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.