FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Bond was set at $80,000 for a man suspected of an attempted murder outside a Folly Beach restaurant where a local band stopped the assault from escalating any further.
Detectives with the Folly Beach Department of Public Safety say they arrested 29-year-old Michael Metzler and charged him with attempted murder for a Dec. 8 assault. Police say that detectives also executed a search warrant and found a weapon used in the assault.
An affidavit states that Metzler struck the victim with a black metal pipe-like object and hit him again when the victim was on the ground. According to court papers, the victim suffered head trauma, two severe lacerations to the head and internal bleeding of the brain.
According to authorities, the Jefferson Coker Band was taking a break at the back porch of Snapper Jack's, when band members saw the assault happening at the parking lot below.
"I was shocked," said the band's lead singer Jefferson Coker. "I was astounded. I didn't think about what was going on I just did what I thought was right."
Officials with the Folly Beach Police Department say members of a band were taking a break at the back porch of Snapper Jack's on 10 Center Street when they witnessed an assault in the parking lot below and stepping in to break it up.
"We noticed these guys kind of talking," said Chris French, the band's drummer.
"The next thing you know the guy is getting hit," said Coker. "It sounded like someone hitting a home run. He went down. He was hit a second time. It's about that time I got down there and got in between him and said 'this is done.'"
Coker said he ran down the deck stairs and got between the suspect and the victim to stop the assault from going any further.
According to the witnesses, it all started when the victim and his friend were walking in a back parking lot when a white Nissan Xterra pulled up to them. Police say the suspect then got out with a weapon in his hand and approached the victim, who put his hands up and started to back away from the suspect.
A police report states that when the victim lost consciousness and fell to the ground, the suspect then struck him a second time in the head. The suspect then ran to his vehicle and drove off.
After the attack, one of the band members made a 911 call that summoned police to the scene within minutes.
Band members on the scene gave interviews but the victim wasn't in the parking lot when officers arrived.
Michael Olsen, a bartender at Snapper Jack's, said he was the first one to catch up to the man who was stumbling down the road after the attack happened.
"He was out of it and he had no idea what had happened to him," said Olsen. "I pulled his hand away from his head and I said listen 'I don't want to freak you out my friend but you have to go to the hospital.'
"You could see inside his head it was that bad."
A police report said the victim needed 16 stitches to close the wound. Olsen says the man is lucky to still be alive.
"It's a horrible thing that happened," said Olsen. "It's a very peaceful community. Everybody likes to have a good time and something like this really throws a monkey wrench into the peacefulness out here."
Police were told that two hours before the assault, the victim, his friend and the suspect got into a verbal altercation at Snapper Jack's over a girl. Witnesses say the suspect left Snapper Jack's after the bar staff stopped a fight.