By Elise Franco
A night that began with a toast to the memory of a murdered Chardon High School friend escalated into a beating of another 19-year-old friend.
Nathan Brewer, 20, of Austintown; James Castle, 20, of East Clarion; and Nicholas Nelson, 21, and Anthony Zingale, 20, both of Chardon are in Mahoning County jail on charges of kidnapping and felonious assault in the beating of the victim, also a Chardon man.
Three of the suspects and the victim were in Austintown on Tuesday night visiting Brewer, formerly of Chardon, at his Deer Creek Apartment in Austintown to drink in memory of Danny Parmertor.
Parmertor was killed Feb. 27 during a shooting at Chardon High School. T.J. Lane, 17, of Chardon is charged in his death and the deaths of two others.
“These five kids got together because Danny [Parmertor] was their friend,” said Austintown Detective Sgt. Kathy Dina. “It was one month to the day since the shooting, and they got together to remember him and celebrate his life.”
Dina said they were drinking at the apartment when the victim reportedly became highly intoxicated and belligerent.
According to a police report, the suspects put the victim in the shower in an attempt to sober him up. Around the same time, at approximately 11:40 p.m,, Austintown police arrived at the apartment because of a noise complaint.
The victim stumbled out of the bathroom in a towel, and police asked them all to keep the noise down, according to the report.
Dina said after officers left, the disorder escalated.
The suspects told Dina they began to beat the victim to keep him quiet because he “wouldn’t shut up,” and they didn’t want the police to come back.
“One of the kids started getting upset and started beating him,” she said.
Dina said the men then dragged the victim out of the apartment and put him into their van. “They were going to head back to Chardon and planned to leave him on the side of the road,” she said.
They were pulled over in Howland Township by the Ohio State Highway Patrol just before 1 a.m. Thursday for driving without headlights, said Lt. Brian Holt of the Warren post.
Troopers found the victim beaten and bloody in the back of the vehicle.
“The beating started in the apartment and continued in the vehicle,” Dina said. “If they didn’t get stopped when they did, who knows what would have happened to him.”
Holt said Breathalyzer tests weren’t administered at the scene.
“Under the circumstances of what appeared to be a serious assault, we have to prioritize what we’re doing,” he said. A driving while intoxicated or underage drinking charge is a misdemeanor, while the assault and kidnapping charges are felonies.
The victim was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. His condition was not disclosed, but Dina said he’ll make a full recovery.
Austintown police returned to the apartment after the vehicle was stopped and found large blood stains on the living room carpet, the hallway carpet and on the steps going into the building, according to the report.
The officer said the blood stains weren’t there when he was at the apartment for the earlier noise complaint.
The suspects were held at highway patrol headquarters in Southington until about 11 a.m. Thursday and then transported to the Mahoning County jail. They are scheduled for a court appearance at 1 p.m. Monday in Mahoning County Area Court in Austintown.
“Highway patrol initiated the investigation,” Holt said. “Once we were able to determine the sequence of events, we contacted Austintown police and ultimately decided charges would be filed there.”
Dina said the case still is under investigation, and additional charges against the four men are pending.