A Rigby man was arrested Sunday and is charged with aggravated battery after he reportedly punched a man in the head in October.
The case against Trey Homer, 28, was originally investigated as a misdemeanor battery. He was charged with a felony, however, after it was discovered that the punch reportedly ruptured the victim’s eardrum, causing permanent hearing loss.
The incident was reported in October 2020. The victim said he was at a gas station when Homer reportedly made rude and derogatory statements to a woman.
The victim said he told Homer to stop, but that Homer continued to harass the woman. She got in a car while Homer continued to attempt to talk to her.
The victim said he stood by the car and that Homer asked him if he wanted to fight. Homer then reportedly punched the victim three times, once in the side of the head, once in the back of the head and once on his back. The victim said he pushed Homer away after the punches, but did not otherwise engage with him.
The deputy who interviewed the victim reported seeing redness on the side of the victim’s head and blood around his ear. He asked the victim if he wanted an ambulance to come and examine him, but the victim said he was fine.
Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sgt. Bryan Lovell said the severity of the victim’s injuries were not realized at the time he spoke to the deputy.
According to Lovell, the victim experienced hearing loss after Homer reportedly punched him in the side of the head. When his hearing did not return after a few days, he went to see a doctor. Lovell said he then learned that his eardrum had ruptured, causing hearing loss.
A warrant was issued for Homer’s arrest and he was located Sunday by an Idaho Falls police officer.
Homer is charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm or disability, punishable with up to 15 years in prison. He was released from jail after posting a $15,000 bond. A no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in Bonneville County Court.