Police: Beating shifted man's brain

Sean Philip Cotter

Police say a Fairview Township man beat another man so severely at the start of December he broke the man's eye socket and caused his brain to shift.

John E. "Jake" Fishel Jr., 40, of 878 School House Lane, was arraigned Dec. 29 for a first-degree felony charge of aggravated assault, as well as counts of simple assault and harassment, according to the criminal complaint filed against him Dec. 18.

Fairview Township Police were called to the American Legion post at 358 Marsh Run Road just before 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, for a report of an assault. When officers got there, both the attacker and the victim had left, but the manager of the post had recognized them both, and pointed police in their respective directions, according to charging documents.

Officers first went to the home of the victim, David Winter, who police found in a great deal of pain, with two black eyes, a bloody nose, a cut chin and a cut on the back of his neck, police say. Winter told the officers he and his friend had been leaving the American Legion post when he saw Fishel out of the corner of his eye, documents state.

Winter told police the last thing he remembers is being "sucker punched" — which immediately knocked him out, police say.

Police then talked to his friend, who said after he got to his car, he turned around and saw Winter on the ground, with a man kicking him several times in the head, according to documents. The man then ran away and drove off, he told police. He said Winter was unconscious for about 10 minutes before he came to and asked his friend to take him home.

Later that evening, Winter lost consciousness and had to be taken to Harrisburg Hospital, where medical personnel found his brain had "shifted," documents state. He'd also suffered a broken nose and right eye socket, which will have to be repaired by surgery, according to police.

Police on Tuesday described his injuries as "serious," but had no further update as to his condition.

Fishel is free on $25,000 bail, according to York County Prison records.

— Reach Sean Cotter at

John "Jake" Fishel Jr.