WILKES-BARRE — A Scott Street man accused of attacking a 79-year-old man three years ago was acquitted of the most serious charge following a trial in Luzerne County Court.
Jurors on Tuesday night found Bryandt Arion Shelly, 38, not guilty of aggravated assault, a felony, in the July 15, 2011, beating of John Harrison inside the East End Towers.
Jurors also acquitted Shelly of recklessly endangering another person, but did convict him of simple assault. Both of those charges are misdemeanors.
Police said Harrison’s nose was partially torn off in the attack.
According to court papers, on July 15 police were called to the East End Towers for the report of an assault.
When police arrived, they observed blood in the lobby and nearby bathroom, where they located Harrison. Harrison said he was exiting an elevator when he accidentally bumped into Shelly.
That’s when Shelly began to hit him numerous times, knocking him to the ground, according to court papers.
Shelly told police that Harrison called him a derogatory term and that Harrison swung at him first.
Doctors at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital said Harrison suffered several facial injuries, including fractures of his nose and eye.
Harrison had to undergo reconstruction surgery that left him with permanent scarring.
The trial before county Judge Fred A. Pierantoni III began Tuesday morning and ended with more than three hours of deliberations that lasted into Tuesday evening.
The defendant remains free on bail pending sentencing on Sept. 25.