BRISTOL - Two men were arrested Thursday and charged with viciously assaulting a 16-year-old boy outside the McDonald’s restaurant on Farmington Avenue in June.
Phillip Couser, 21, and Jamal Royster, 21, of Bristol, each face charges of second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and attempted second-degree robbery.
According to the arrest warrant, Royster punched the teenage victim in the mouth as the boy exited McDonald’s, shortly after clocking out on June 20 at about 10 p.m. The victim and Royster both worked at the fast food restaurant at the time.
The victim told police he immediately recognized his assailant as Royster and that he was able to strike him back, sending him to the ground, when Royster called out for help, the warrant alleges. The boy tried to run away, but he was cut off by Couser who, along with Royster, allegedly grabbed the boy. The teen then went to the ground and was kicked in the head multiple times and struck “all over” his body, he told police.
According to the warrant, one of the assailants tried to steal the teen’s wallet, but he was able to grab it back before they fled. The teen reported the incident to his manager, who called a family member to pick him up. He was left with a swollen, bruised lip and abrasions to his back, abdomen and arms.
The victim, in his statement to police, said he had an argument with Royster’s girlfriend while the two were working at McDonald’s the day of the assault, and that the two had been “play fighting.” The warrant said both Royster and his girlfriend were fired by McDonald’s.
The assault was reported to police two days after it occurred, after the mother of the victim realized McDonald’s had not notified authorities. At that time, the victim declined medical attention.
Further, the mother told police, she confronted Royster about the incident on social media, where he allegedly admitted that he was involved in the attack, saying the boy had been “running his mouth for weeks,” according to the warrant.
Royster and Couser could not be reached by police for statements during the investigation. They were both arraigned Thursday afternoon in Bristol Superior Court, where officials said neither of them have a criminal history.
State prosecutor Ronald Dearstyne called the incident a “vicious attack” and cited the allegation of the victim being kicked in the head repeatedly as the reason this is considered a felony assault.
Both Royster and Couser were ordered held on $10,000 bond and ordered not to have any contact with the victim. Royster is due back in court on Sept. 12, while Couser is expected to appear again on Sept. 11. Neither of them entered a plea Thursday.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.