The felony charges placed on the 47-year-old man who allegedly attacked two with a knife at the Travel Inn hotel were reduced to misdemeanors Friday morning in Recorder's Court.
Andre Simms of Columbus pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated assault before Recorder's Court Judge Michael Cilienski changed it to two counts of disorderly conduct. Cilienski said the decision was based on the fact that the victims did not appear in court after Columbus Police Officer Jacob Siter summoned them to attend the hearing.
Simms was placed on 12 months probation and ordered to serve 30 days suspended upon the payment of $300 for each count.
Police said they were called to the Travel Inn hotel at 3600 block of Victory Drive Wednesday at 2:19 a.m. in reference to a stabbing of a 33-year-old woman and 31-year-old man.
The Columbus residents said they were attacked with a knife between 2:05 a.m. and 2:15 a.m., according to a report.
Police reports indicate that both victims were stabbed, but Siter said the man was the only one stabbed in the assault. His right shoulder was wounded, the officer said. The woman has a "fairly deep laceration" on the bridge of her nose, he added.
Medics on the scene offered to transport the victims to the Midtown Medical Center, but the two refused, Siter testified.
The victim said Simms approached the Traveling Inn hotel room she and the 31-year-old male were staying in. She said it appeared as if he wanted crack cocaine, and they didn't have any, the officer testified.
"She stated that as Mr. Simms passed her, he pulled out a small knife and swung it at her, striking across the bridge of her nose and causing her to fall to the ground," Siter told the court.
The woman reported that the defendant sliced the 31-year-old man when he attempted to protect her.
Afterward, the woman allegedly saw Simms run around the hotel and throw the knife in a wooded area nearby. The officer said Simms admitted to having the knife and throwing it in the woods.
During the hearing, Simms said all three of them were drinking when the woman "started talking smack,"the man got involved when the woman swung at him.
"She went to talking smack, and I asked her to leave my alone," Simms testified. "She ran up in my face, and the guy tried to stop it. When she hit me, I started swinging and everything broke out from there."
The defendant said the man who police identified as a victim came at him with an "object." He said he grabbed the man's hand and may have unintentionally cut them with his own nails or the object as it was in the man's hand.
Siter said the injuries indicate that the cuts could have only been made with a sharp object, such as a knife.
Simms told police that someone cut him on the face with a knife, but police said the abrasion on the suspect's face didn't appear to come from a knife.