Elkhart man accused of violent attack

Christopher Neice

ELKHART — An Elkhart man is accused of attacking another man with a hatchet in a violent hotel room invasion.

Christopher Neice, 31, is charged with burglary resulting in serious injury, a Level 2 felony, and battery resulting in serious injury, a Level 5 felony, following his arrest Friday. He was arrested after being named by his alleged victim, who was hospitalized for a broken nose and other injuries.

Neice was booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on $75,000 bond. His initial hearing is set for Dec. 6 in Elkhart County Superior Court 2.

A Level 2 felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a Level 5 felony by up to six years.

According to court documents:

Elkhart Police responded to a battery report at a Cassopolis Street hotel about 8:20 p.m. Friday. An officer spoke with a man who was sitting on the floor of a hotel room, covered in blood.

The victim said Neice had attacked him after knocking on his door and then forcing his way into the room. He said Neice had immediately started swinging at him with his fists and possibly something in one of his hands.

He said the attack lasted four to five minutes before Neice ran back out of the room. He said Neice was a friend and didn’t know why he would attack him.

In addition to finding blood throughout the room, officers also found a small hatchet-style hand tool on the floor near the door. The victim said it was Neice’s.

The victim was transported to Elkhart General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken nose and swelling to his ear from blunt trauma.

About half an hour after police spoke with the victim, officers found Neice in an Ash Road mobile home park. Officers noticed several spots of what appeared to be dried blood on his shoes and left hand and redness on his knuckles.

He said he didn’t know why he was being questioned and claimed that he had been home all day, until his girlfriend picked him up from his grandmother’s home to go shopping. He said he hadn’t been driving and that he was not at the hotel where the attack happened.

Neice was handcuffed and taken to the Elkhart Police Department, where he continued to insist he didn’t know what had happened. He refused to answer further questions without a lawyer present.

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