Men Threw Customer Off Mad Murphy's Bar Deck in Middletown: Police

Middletown police arrested two men who threw a patron off a deck at a bar on South Main Street early morning on Sunday and one of them had cocaine in his wallet, police said.

Richard P. Palma, 25, of Durham, and Brian J. Makuch, 24, of Middletown, face assault charges after the incident just before 2 a.m. at Mad Murphy's Bar at 288 South Main Street.

The victim, told police that two men he didn't know approached him from behind and threw him while he was talking to an "old acquaintance" in the parking lot below the deck.

He landed on his head, also using his hands to help break the fall, and was "bleeding from the right side of his head and had a large red swollen abrasion on his cheek," police said. A group of patrons was arguing about the incident and talking to an officer as more police officers arrived.

The victim's friend, who was picking up his girlfriend at about 1:38 a.m., confirmed the story. He told police he witnessed two strangers grab the man and throw him to the gravel below while a "guy" wearing a "fitted hat" on the gravel was "having words" with the victim.

The victim and witness positively identified Palma and Makuch to police as the men responsible, though Makuch declined to comment to police on his involvement in the incident, police said.

Police seized 0.7 grams of a white powder found in Palma's wallet, and it tested positive as cocaine, police said.

Police charged both Palma and Makuch with third-degree assault. Palma was also charged with possession of a narcotic for the cocaine found in his possession, police said.

Police did not say whether Palma had cocaine in his system at the time of the alleged attack. It is unclear at this time what sparked the incident.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court in Middletown on Aug. 18 and were released on $5,000 bonds.

*Ed: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the victim as a minor.  The victim is, in fact, an adult.

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