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Man pleads guilty in '05 bar incident

June 24, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to second-degree assault for a November 2005 incident at the Corner Pub in which he struck a bar assistant with a beer bottle and punched him.

Wayne Gibson Cesidio Ball, 25, whose address on charging documents is 112 S. Cannon Ave., was ordered by Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. to serve three years of probation, the first 18 months of which will be supervised, with a suspended three-year prison sentence for assaulting Gregory Hannigan, one of the bar's assistants. Ball was ordered barred from the Corner Pub at 158 S. Mulberry St.

"It is only by the grace of Mr. Hannigan and the state that you're not going to jail," Long told Ball, who also was ordered to pay a $500 fine, $315 in court costs and $684.88 in medical expenses and a bar tab, which Ball walked out on Nov. 6, 2005, when the incident occurred.

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According to charging documents filed by Hannigan, who also is a local attorney, Ball and a group of friends were told by an upstairs assistant bartender Patrick Hutzell and Hannigan to leave the bar after they became loud.

Hannigan told Ball to put down the beer bottle he was holding, but Ball said, "I paid for this bottle and the only thing I'm going to do with it is hit somebody," according to charging documents.

"Ball then swung the bottle against Mr. Hannigan's head. The bottle shattered cutting Mr. Hannigan and also slashing Mr. Hutzell's forehead," charging documents state.

After the group left the bar, leaving Hutzell "bleeding profusely" and Hannigan with cuts to his hand, Ball "stepped back into the building and struck Greg Hannigan directly in the left eye with a closed fist."

At the hearing Thursday, Hannigan called Ball's actions that night "out of character" for a man who had been a regular customer.

Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael dropped two other assault charges in exchange for Ball's plea.

Darryl Sword, proprietor of the Corner Pub, said after the hearing that he was satisfied with the sentence.

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