Police say suspect swung fist, threw chair at man after being awakened

A transient was arrested on assault charges after he allegedly attacked a man inside a church courtyard Tuesday afternoon.

Joseph Dean Stuart was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse for the attack.

According to Taft Police, Stuart, 31, was at Templo Agua Viva Church, 500 Kern St. where a man was assisting as fire extinguisher technician.

Police said the victim told officers Stuart was sleeping in the courtyard when he was awakened and "became irate and belligerent."

The suspect swung his fist and struck the victim and threw a folding chair at the victim as he left the property, police said, but the chair hit the fence and did not hurt the victim.

Police were called and located the suspect a short time later in the 100 block of Kern Street.
The victim identified Stuart as his attacker, police said, and he was booked at Taft Jail.

He was later transported to Kern County jail were he is being held on $10,000 bail.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 8.