WOOSTER — An 18-year-old Wooster man was indicted Friday on three charges stemming from the July 24 assault of two homeless men who were sleeping in a stairwell outside Trinity United Church of Christ in downtown Wooster.

Richard Luper, 18, is charged with two counts of felonious assault with a deadly weapon and one misdemeanor count of assault, Prosecutor Dan Lutz said Friday afternoon.

Luper's indictment came one day after prosecutors charged two Wooster boys, 16 and 13, with one count each of delinquency by reason of felonious assault and one count each of misdemeanor assault in Wayne County Juvenile Court.

Prosecutors allege that the three youths used rocks and baseball bats to beat the two men as they slept early July 24.

The two boys are scheduled to appear for initial hearings in juvenile court Thursday, Lutz said. The Beacon Journal generally does not identify juveniles accused in criminal matters, unless the case involves a serious violent crime.

No hearings have been scheduled yet in Luper’s case in Common Pleas Court.

The two homeless men — one a veteran, the other with developmental and mental health issues — required medical attention. One man, a 33-year-old from Wooster, had blood on his forehead and a small scrape on his knee. He was treated by Wooster EMS and did not wish to be taken to a hospital.

The second man, a 39-year-old veteran from Wooster, had cuts and scrapes on his hands, and told police he had injuries to the back of his head. He was transported to the emergency room of Wooster Community Hospital.

The 33-year-old man ran from Trinity to the Wayne County Justice Center, where he told police he was assaulted by some “teenagers with bats and rocks.”

The 39-year-old man “stood his ground,” but did not fight back, Trinity pastor Kevan Franklin said. The older man told police he and the other victim were awakened by the juveniles throwing rocks at them.

Wooster police announced July 30, six days after the incident, that they had identified all three suspects, and credited the community with helping with the investigation.

 “We sincerely appreciated how our community stepped up and assisted us in identifying all involved,” Assistant Police Chief Scott Rotolo said in a prepared statement Thursday. “Wooster has once again shown that this type of behavior is not to be tolerated and when the chips are down, we can all come together to do what’s right.”

 

Tami Mosser and Emily Morgan contributed to this report. Jack Rooney can be reached at 330-287-1645 or jrooney@the-daily-record.com. He is on Twitter at twitter.com/RooneyReports.