The Daily Gamecock

Warrant issued for suspect involved in Wheat Street assault

Michael Blaszczyk awaits second-degree assault and battery charges upon arrival in Columbia Read More


An arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect who allegedly beat a man on Wheat Street on Aug. 19, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department.

 Michael Blaszczyk, 21, is expected to be charged with second degree assault and battery, an upgrade from the expected third degree charge mentioned in the initial incident report.

"The incident report just acts as a basic report by the responding officers," said Jennifer Timmons, spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department. "After more information came in, the charge was increased in severity from third degree to second degree."

Blaszczyk will be served with the warrant upon his arrival in Columbia after being extradited from his believed location of Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina. His status as an active Marine will make the process of extradition more difficult, according to Timmons.

"North Carolina officials and Columbia investigators are working closely with the military to move the suspect back to South Carolina to be served with the warrant and to be charged," Timmons said. "Because he's in the military it makes the process more lengthy, but everyone is working together to apprehend him at his suspected location of Camp Lejeune."

Investigators are unsure if Blaszczyk is still at Camp Lejeune, which was his initial location when a tip was received. Timmons was unable to give details on how the suspect was named, but said that the surveillance video capturing Blaszczyk and the two unknown white males walking alongside him in Five Points was "extremely helpful" in determining the identity of the suspect.

The assault and battery charge comes after Blaszczyk and two unknown white males yelled for a man and his girlfriend's attention while walking out of Five Points on Wheat Street on Aug. 19. When the man, who had been drinking according to the incident report, turned around to shake the suspect's hand, he was unexpectedly attacked. While the two men with Blaszczyk watched, the suspect struck the victim in the face with his fist and continued hitting him in the face after he fell to the ground, the report said.

The victim was taken to Palmetto Baptist Hospital and treated for several severe injuries including a broken nose and cheekbone and black eyes, according to the release. He has since been released.

The two men with Blaszczyk are not expected to be charged because they acted as bystanders in the attack, although it is possible if they are identified, Timmons said.