Craig man arrested on felony assault charges for beating aging family member |

Craig man arrested on felony assault charges for beating aging family member

Police are charging a Craig man with a felony after they say he kicked and punched his aging family member so badly that they had to be hospitalized.

Tyler James Counts, 25, was arrested Dec. 2 on a charge of felony second-degree assault. 

Tyler James Counts, 25, was arrested Dec. 2 on a charge of felony second-degree assault.
Craig Press/Jail courtesy

According to an arrest affidavit compiled by Moffat County Sheriff’s deputy Alec Brown, police began investigating the alleged assault back in January 2018 after an anonymous tip to the sheriff’s office.

The tipster told police the victim went to a hospital in Craig with several severe facial injuries, “but told them (they) fell down the stairs,” the affidavit said.

The tipster told police the victim’s face was badly injured and asked deputies to conduct a welfare check in the days following the alleged assault. When they arrived, they found the victim indeed had serious facial injuries.

“I could see (the victim’s) face was swollen and there was heavy bruising around both of (their) eyes,” the deputy said in the affidavit. “I could see there was some “butterfly” stitches over (their) left eye and on the bridge of (their) nose on the left side. I could see the right side of (the victim’s) jaw was swollen and bruised.”

About a week later, the deputy met again with the victim and the victim told police what happened.

“(The victim) told me (they) and Tyler were in a fight,” the affidavit said.

The victim told police they went to Steamboat Springs after Counts’ girlfriend at the time “had kicked him out of where they were living. (The victim) told me Tyler had been drinking alcoholic beverages when they arrived at (the victim’s) house. (The victim) told me Tyler had been using heroin and drinking alcohol over the past few days,” according to the affidavit.

The victim further advised police Counts “became very belligerent and kept putting his hands on (the victim) and pushing (them),” until finally the victim told police they “hit Tyler and knocked him down on the floor of the house and hit him a few more times” before they were able to get Counts outside the home and able to lock the door, the affidavit said.

Once the victim thought Counts left their home, the affidavit said the victim tried to go outside to get some of Counts’ belongings out of their car. That’s when police say Counts began beating the victim.

“Tyler came from behind and knocked (them) down,” the affidavit said. “(The victim) said at some point, Tyler was strangling (them) and (they) lost consciousness.”

Luckily, the victim had called another family member before stepping outside, who soon found the victim and drove them to the emergency room. That’s when the victim told police they regained consciousness.

Tyler would later tell the victim they kicked and stomped them before they were taken to the hospital, police said in the affidavit.

“(The victim) opened (their) shirt for me and I saw (they had) heavy bruising around (their) neck and in the throat area,” police said in the affidavit. “(The victim) also had severe bruising on (their) chest.”

The deputy then went on a mission to find the victim’s health records. Having seen multiple doctors and specialists since the alleged assault, the affidavit said the victim told police their ear drum had been ruptured, but “they may be able to do surgery to repair the ear drum…”

The deputy said several doctors signed a serious bodily injury form. At least one doctor detailed “the patient lost consciousness for an unknown duration. There was associated confusion, ETOH, headache and neck pain. Positive bleeding from ears and hearing loss. Positive for bruises and lacerations. Positive for right side temporal (brain) swelling, ecchymosis (bruising), abrasions and tenderness, the face was positive for right side infraorbital (lower eyelid), maxillary (upper jaw), zygomatic (cheekbone) swelling and deformity and tenderness,” the affidavit said. “Right tympanic membrane (right ear drum) positive for perforation. Acute fracture right zygomatic (cheekbone) arch, posteriolateral maxillary sinus (nasal) and bilateral nasal bone,” the affidavit said.

Counts was booked into the Moffat County Jail Dec. 2 and was still in jail as of press time Dec. 3 on an unknown bond amount.

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