LEESBURG — A Pierceton man was recently arrested after allegedly battering a man who ended up in a medically induced coma.
Joseph Scott Chaffins, 25, 8991 E. 350N, Pierceton, is charged with aggravated battery, a level 3 felony.
On Jan. 1, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s deputies went to a home in Leesburg regarding a report of a man with severe injuries to his face and head. Officers who first arrived at the scene found the man laying inside of a garage, bleeding extensively from his head and face.
A KCSO deputy spoke with a woman at the scene. The woman said she and the man were only home for 10 minutes before she discovered he was battered.
According to court documents, the woman said she was in a separate area of the home and yelled for the man, but he didn’t answer. She noticed a door that leads to the garage was open and heard sounds of a struggle. The woman said she saw a younger-looking man, later identified as Chaffins, leave the area and described his appearance to officers. She said Chaffins was holding an item that she described as an orange or red pipe wrench.
During the initial investigation, the woman told deputies the man had been having issues with Chaffins. The woman also said the man told her that Chaffins broke into his home in December 2021 and battered him, but that he didn’t report the incident.
An initial report from a Fort Wayne hospital stated that the man had multiple facial lacerations, including one above his right eye, as well as a laceration to the back of his neck. The man also had neck and skull fractures. Due to his injuries, the man was later transferred to an Indianapolis hospital.
On Jan. 6, a Kosciusko County detective learned that Chaffins had been hiding inside a home in Pierceton since shortly after the Jan. 1 battery incident.
On Jan. 7, the detective displayed an array of six photos to the woman, who was told the man she saw leaving the home may or may not be in the photos. The woman examined the photos and selected one as the same individual who she saw leaving the home on Jan. 1. The photo was of Chaffins.
That same day, the detective, with the assistance of the county’s SWAT Team, executed a search warrant at the home in Pierceton. Chaffins was the only person at the home. While a search was being conducted, officers found a pair of boots that had multiple dark spots on them, which appeared consistent with bloodstains. A brown leather jacket containing dark red stains believed to be blood, and a red metal handle belonging to a vehicle jack were also submitted into evidence.
On Jan. 11, Kosciusko County detectives went to the Indianapolis hospital to execute a search warrant collecting a DNA sample from the man. Upon arrival, they found the man was in a medically induced coma, on a ventilator, and listed in critical but stable condition. After speaking with the man’s medical providers and family members, the detectives were advised the man had been stable long enough that medical personnel believed he would survive his injuries. It was also reported that the man had permanently lost vision in one eye.
Chaffins was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Jan. 18, with a $20,250 surety and cash bond.