Two Poplar Bluff men accused in severe beating

Monday, January 11, 2010 ~ Updated 5:05 PM

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Two Poplar Bluff men may face assault and weapon charges after allegedly severely beating a friend during a suspected altercation early this morning.

Rusty Swasho, 25, of Poplar Bluff was treated at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center for what authorities described as deep lacerations to his head and face. Swasho's condition was not known at press time.

As Swasho sought treatment, his alleged attackers were at the Butler County Sheriff's Department, according to Assistant Chief Deputy Scott Wiggs.

"They knew we were looking for them, and they actually came into the sheriff's office," where they were taken into custody, interviewed and booked at the jail, Wiggs said.

"We're anticipating warrants later; they're being held today on charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action," Wiggs said.

The sheriff's department learned of the alleged assault at about 2:25 a.m. when deputies responded to a residence on County Road 605, south of Poplar Bluff, Wiggs explained.

When deputies arrived, Wiggs said, they contacted Swasho, who was conscious, but was "covered in blood and had visible, deep lacerations to his head and face."

Swasho apparently was struck multiple times with a pool stick and a "cat claw," which Wiggs described as a "metal nail puller."

"From what we understand, he was visiting with two of his friends ... They were just together; they were drinking and got into an argument and jumped the victim," Wiggs said.

At this point, Wiggs said, the motive for the alleged attack still is being investigated. "We don't have all the whys," he said.

Deputies, Wiggs said, executed a search warrant this morning on the County Road 605 residence to collect evidence.

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