Bloody Confrontation Involves 30-35 Men - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/28/05-Smith County

Bloody Confrontation Involves 30-35 Men

"When we walked in the hospital, we did not recognize him. His face was so swollen," Jim Bernard said of his son. "How can a human being do this to another human?"

Bernard was out of town Friday, when he got word his son, Aaron, 21, had been beaten by a group of young men about his age.

Authorities say Aaron and nine friends were at his home late Thursday night, when one of them got into a phone argument with another man over a girl.

"When they showed up, my son and another one walked down to tell them that there weren't going to be any problems, and they needed to get off the property," Bernard said. "And that's when the fight started."

Investigators say the fight broke out in the driveway of the Bernard family home. They're still trying to figure out who all was involved. But they believe 20-25 young men from Van and Canton came out to fight 6-10 young men from Lindale.

Two men confessed to knocking Aaron unconscious, kicking him repeatedly, and breaking most of the bones in his face.

Jonathan Van Syckle, 18, of Canton, and Jeremiah Hansford Smith, 19, of Van, were arrested today and charged with aggravated assault.

"We're still putting together statements, but right now, all the statements are pretty much coinciding with that being the case. Aaron was seriously just the victim," Jeremy Price, a Smith County deputy constable, said.

Aaron had facial reconstruction surgery this past weekend. Next week, he'll have to get major dental work done. Many of his teeth were bent back or knocked out. His father just hopes Aaron's eyesight will not be permanently impaired.

Authorities are continuing to question others who either witnessed or participated in the fight. They are looking to arrest more suspects.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com

 

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