A woman was charged with a felony count of aggravated battery and other charges after she and her boyfriend beat a man so badly that it caused him to have a brain injury.
Ashley Balfanz, 30, of Racine, was charged Monday by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with aggravated battery, misdemeanor bail jumping, possession of an illegally obtained prescription, and a misdemeanor count of bail jumping. If convicted of all charges, Balfanz faces up to 17 years in prison and/or fined up to $70,500.
A second person, Michael W. Moore, was charged last month.
According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Racine Police Department responded to a complaint of three people trespassing in a vacant apartment at 5:25 p.m. Nov. 3 at 1515 Washington Avenue.
When police arrived on the scene, two people were found in an alley talking to one another: Moore and a man who lived in the apartment building. At the time, Moore was covered in blood. A third man, who was badly injured, was found unconscious inside what was supposed to be a vacant apartment.
The man had injuries to his face and head. Blood had pooled on the cushion he was laying on. Doctors later told police that the man been beaten so badly that he had suffered a subdural hematoma, which is when blood collects outside of the brain. Taken to surgery, the man was admitted into the ICU at Ascension-All Saints Hospital.
When the injured man became conscious, investigators learned that he was drunk at the time of the assault but he still remembered what had happened. He told police that Balfanz and Moore were with him in the apartment.
However, the injured man told police the couple beat him up when Balfanz took offense to a comment he made about her not being a good mother.
“You’re no better than the other girls,” the injured man told Balfanz. Angry, she struck the man across the face and used a pair of brass knuckles to punch him “at least ’20 times,'” according to the criminal complaint.
When Moore came out of the bathroom, he joined in and started hitting the man until he was unconscious. Balfanz denied beating the man and said it was Moore who struck him. Moore admitted to striking the man because he was calling his girlfriend names.
“Moore indicated that even though the room was dark, he could tell that (the victim’s) face was probably ’70 percent’ covered in blood,” he said.
When police interviewed Balfanz, they found a prescription for Gabapentin. The prescription bottle originally contained 270 pills and had a fill date of Nov. 26, but there were only 21 pills left in the bottle.
According to WebMD, Gabapentin is used to control seizures and nerve pain following shingles.
Balfanz is being held on a $5,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 13.
This version of the story corrects the date of the incident as Nov. 3 and includes information about Michael W. Moore being charged. Racine County Eye regrets the error.