Police: Man beaten with hammer in tool-truck assault

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — A bloody Robert Richards drove himself to city police headquarters after being punched, kicked and struck in the head several times with a hammer, according to court records.

An investigation into the assault earlier this week resulted in Friday’s arrest of Louis Weihbrecht, 49, of Cummiskey Street, Wilkes-Barre.

The suspect formerly owned Outsiders Bar and Grill on South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre.

Police allege Weihbrecht jumped into a Mac Tool Truck on Stevens Road where Richards was looking at tools to purchase Tuesday.

“I was bludgeoned by this guy who grabbed a hammer in the tool truck,” Richards said Friday. “I didn’t instigate anything. I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time and this guy has had it in for me for something.”

Richards said he didn’t want to discuss the situation any further.

According to a criminal complaint:

Richards entered police headquarters where officers said he was covered in blood and had several head wounds, including large wounds above his left eye and on top of his head.

Richards claimed he was struck several times in the head and body by Weihbrecht.

After Richards was transported to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Weihbrecht reported an assault in the parking lot of an auto garage on Stevens Road.

In a written statement to police, Weihbrecht claimed he was not injured during the assault that involved a hammer inside a tool truck.

Police noticed Weihbrecht described the assault that involved Richards.

After Richards was treated at the hospital, he told police he was looking at tools inside a truck when Weihbrecht jumped inside. Richards said as he grabbed a hammer to defend himself, Weihbrecht shoved him to the floor.

Weihbrecht picked up the hammer and struck Richards several times in the head. As Richards exited the tool truck, Weihbrecht continued to punch and kick him.

A witness verified Richards’ account of the assault.

Afterward, the truck driver cleaned up blood and continued on his sales rounds.

Police said they recovered blood spatter inside the tool truck.

Weihbrecht was arraigned by District Judge Thomas Malloy on two counts of simple assault and one count each of aggravated assault, false reports to law enforcement, tampering with evidence, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.

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By Ed Lewis

[email protected]