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Three arraigned on assault charges

ROGUE RIVER — Three men face felony assault charges linked to what police called a vicious attack on a man walking home from a friend's house in Rogue River.

Joshua Scott McFadden, 22, no address listed; Michael W. Hofstrand, 18, of the 2100 block of the Right Fork of Foots Creek Road, Gold Hill; and Benjamin A. Chmelir, 21, of 5800 block of Foothill Blvd., Rogue River, made their preliminary appearance in Jackson County Circuit Court Monday.

Each man was arraigned on a single third-degree assault charge.

Rogue River police arrested the three men on numerous charges Friday. Rogue River Police Chief Ken Lewis said the case is set to go to a grand jury today to assess all the charges that might apply in a case that started in the early morning hours of Nov. 30.

At about 3 a.m. that day, a 38-year-old man was walking home when four young men came out of a house in the 5800 block of Foothills Boulevard, taunted and then attacked him, Rogue River police said in a news release. The man called 9-1-1 on his cell phone and told the operator where he was and that a group of young men was about to assault him.

One of the assailants punched the man, knocking him to the ground. The group then beat and kicked him, causing numerous cuts and bruises, police said. The attackers also stole a cell phone and a pack of cigarettes from the man.

After the attackers ran away, the man made his way home, where he again called 9-1-1.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department took the initial report. Following up on information the victim provided, Rogue River police arrested a 17-year-old boy who lives on Pleasant Creek Road later that day on charges of third-degree assault, menacing and interfering with a 9-1-1 call. He was lodged at the county's juvenile detention center.

The investigation continued and, on Friday, Rogue River police arrested the three other men linked to the case: McFadden, Hofstrand and Chmelir. Officers recommended charges of third-degree assault, second-degree robbery, menacing and interfering with a 9-1-1 call. Bail was set at more than $1 million.

A robbery charge, linked to the taking of the victim's cell phone and cigarettes by force, was filed against the teen, who remained in custody, police said.

"These are very serious charges," Lewis said.

Investigation into the incident is continuing as officers collect evidence to build their case. Rogue River police ask anyone who witnessed the assault or otherwise has information about it to call 582-4931.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.