N.C. man sought in Five Points beating

online@thestate.comAugust 30, 2012 

Columbia Police have obtained an arrest warrant for a North Carolina man accused of beating a man near Five Points.

Michael Blaszczyk, 21, of Camp Lejeune, N.C., will be charged with second-degree assault, Columbia Police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said Thursday. Police accuse him of attacking a 23-year-old man in the 2200 block of Wheat Street about 2 a.m. Aug. 19.

That night, the victim and a 21-year-old woman were walking home from Five Points when three men started following them, shouting the name “James” at the couple, according to a police report.

The victim turned to tell the men he was not “James” and extended his arm to offer a handshake, a police report said. Then, one of the three men punched him in the face, knocking him over.

While the victim was on the ground, the suspect hit him several more times, according to the report, and the woman jumped on the attacker’s back but was thrown off. The three suspects then ran off.

The victim’s nose and cheekbone were broken in the attack, and he was treated and released from a hospital.

Blaszczyk will be arrested as soon as he is extradited by U.S. military and N.C. officials, Timmons said. Camp Lejeune is the site of a U.S. Marine base, but it’s unclear whether the suspect is in the military.

—R. Darren Price

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