Man's ear reattached after alleged assault with car jack
A man's partially severed left ear was reattached with 52 stitches after he was allegedly attacked with a car jack in downtown Medford.
The man, who asked not to be named, also said he received eight staples on the right side of his head after he fell to the ground and struck his head.
The alleged victim was on hand to display his injuries and ask Jackson County Circuit Judge Timothy Barnack not to lower the bail of Arizona resident Joseph Paul Dinucci, who was arraigned Monday on two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of menacing in connection with an alleged Oct. 24 attack.
Barnack kept Dinucci's bail at $500,000 rather than lowering it to $50,000.
Dinucci entered not guilty pleas on all the charges.
Co-defendant Joshua Michael Fuerstenberg, 23, of Eagle Point faces the same charges and is being held on $500,000 bail in the Jackson County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday afternoon.
The two defendants allegedly began randomly yelling at a group of friends — two men and two women — as they walked in downtown Medford, then sprang from some bushes and allegedly attacked with a concrete block, hammer and car jack in a parking lot near Porter's Restaurant.
The alleged victim who came to court on Monday said he had been smashed in the side of the face and ear with a car jack. His two female friends said his ear was essentially severed, with the lower half hanging by tissue.
"I'm lucky to be here, honestly," said the man, noting he was fortunate not to have suffered a concussion.
The alleged victim said several people stopped to help the group and one person left behind a jacket to cradle his bleeding head while he was on the ground. The man said he wished he could thank the people who had helped.
The alleged victim said the assailants were yelling remarks that indicated the assailants were members of a gang. He said the other alleged victim — the other man in the group of four friends — could not attend Monday afternoon's court hearing because he was at work.
In affidavits, police said Dinucci allegedly tried to hit the group with the hammer and Fuerstenberg allegedly hit one man in the group with the car jack and the other with the concrete block. Police said the man hit with the concrete block was taken by ambulance to a hospital and later released.
Police said they were able to track down and arrest the alleged assailants in Eagle Point thanks in part to a business surveillance camera system.
Police are asking business and home owners to register their surveillance cameras with the Medford Police Department's Surveillance Camera Registration and Mapping program. If a crime happens in the area of a registered camera, police may contact the owner to see if video is available that could help solve a crime.
Visit www.medfordpd.com/SCRAM for more information.