Witnesses: Man beat woman with brick near Denny’s in Liberty

An employee at Sam's Pizza said the man tried running the woman over with his car and later beat her with a brick.

A car crashed into Denny's on Belmont Avenue in Liberty.


LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – It was a shocking scene that played out in the parking lot of Liberty Square Plaza around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses said a man tried to run over a woman, who was screaming for help. He then chased her to the parking lot in front of Denny’s, where people say he started beating her with a brick.

Troy Huston, a manager at Sam’s Pizza, said he was making pizza when he heard the sound of screeching tires followed by a loud bang.

“I ran out. I thought there was an accident, and when I come around the corner of the building here, there was a guy in a GMC Denali trying to run over a lady trying to escape out of her car,” he said. “And he’s backing up and ramming into her car. Almost pinned her between the building and the car.”

Huston said he opened the back door of the business for the woman, who followed him inside. The man then chased them outside and managed to grab the woman, as well as a brick. Huston said the man started beating the woman with the brick as he called 911 for help.

Others rushed to the area near the Denny’s restaurant on Belmont Avenue, where the assault was reportedly occurring. McKenzie Shongo, a waitress at Denny’s, said she was inside the restaurant when a patron yelled out that a woman was getting beat up outside.

The employees quickly rushed outside, and multiple men pulled the assailant off the woman, she said. During the time of the assault, Huston said the man was waving the brick around as if he would strike one of the bystanders with it.

“He was smashing her head off the ground, beating her, punching her,” Shongo said.

After the assault, Shongo said the man nonchalantly asked for a cup of water.

“He came over here and asked us for a cup of water because he was thirsty, and I said, ‘Whoever put their hands on a female like that is very ignorant,'” she said. “He said, ‘I only did it because she cheated on me, and this is the second or third time that it’s happened, and she deserved it.'”

Huston said the woman was badly injured from the attack. She was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital with a possible broken jaw and other injuries and was in stable condition on Tuesday night, according to police.

Five cars in the Denny’s parking lot were also damaged somehow during the incident, with an employee’s vehicle pushed into the side of the building. Liberty Police Capt. Toby Meloro said the suspect rammed several cars with his during the attack.

He identified the suspect as Josue Rodriguez, 39, and said he has been charged with felonious assault with additional charges pending. He was taken to Trumbull County Jail on Tuesday evening.

Meloro added that Rodriguez has a history of domestic violence.

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