Medford man charged in hatchet assault
A Medford man faces assault and burglary charges after reportedly using a hatchet to attack a man while he lay in bed.
Police said Harvey Alfred Wangerin, 34, entered a home in the 1000 block of Mount Pitt Street through an unlocked door late Wednesday armed with a hatchet, Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said.
He went to a bedroom where Jack Krouse lay awake in bed. Wangerin attacked Krouse, who attempted to block the hatchet blows with his arms, Budreau said.
"Krouse received only minor wounds to his head and hands," Budreau said. "He was lucky. A hatchet is a weapon that can cause serious injuries."
Krouse managed to wrestle away the hatchet and escape the home. He ran to a neighbor's house, where he called police, Budreau said.
Wangerin fled the area and was later arrested at his home in the 400 block of South Columbus.
"The fight is believed to be over a female familiar to both men," Budreau said.
Wangerin was charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault. The assault charge is a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 5 years and 10 months upon conviction.
Even though Wangerin did not steal anything from Krouse's home, he was still charged with burglary.
"Some people believe there has to be a theft involved in a burglary charge, but it stems from entering into someone's home with the intention of committing any crime," Budreau said.
A similar case occurred in April when a man entered a home on Progress Drive in Medford and assaulted a man and woman with a golf club while they slept. That beating sparked from a fight over a past girlfriend. The victims were treated at a local hospital and released.
"Strangely enough, the golf club in that instance did more damage than the hatchet Wednesday night," Budreau said.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.