Crime

Fourth man arrested in downtown Columbia assault

Benjamin Nielsen was in jail Tuesday

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A fourth man involved in what authorities described as a brutal assault in downtown Columbia was booked into the Boone County Jail on Monday.

Benjamin E. Nielsen, 22, of Columbia, remained in the jail Tuesday morning on a $50,000 cash-only bond after turning himself in Monday at the Boone County Sheriff's Department. He is charged with one count of first-degree assault with serious physical injury.

Authorities allege Nielsen and three other men -- Kyle Johnson, 23, Emory Montie, 23, and Alexander Nolan, 19, all of Columbia, beat two people in the 100 block of South Seventh Street in Columbia early Sunday. Police said the men also took a necklace from one of their targets.

Johnson, Montie and Nolan were arrested last week.

When police arrived, they found one of the two victims on the ground and unconscious. One victim was taken to the hospital with "extensive injuries," Pitts said. The other was treated and released from the hospital the same day, according to a probable cause statement.

A witness identified the four men, according to the probable cause statement. The surveillance video shows Nielsen grabbing and punching one victim, the statement says. Johnson and Nolan then push the victim to the ground and punch the victim, according to the statement. Montie then punched the other victim in the face, the statement says.

The video then shows the four men beating the two victims while they were on the ground, according to the statement. 

Nielsen's initial court appearance was set for Tuesday afternoon.

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