Alleged attacker sought revenge for satanic hex

GREENFIELD — A Charlemont man who allegedly barged into a friend’s home armed with a knife was arraigned on home invasion and assault charges Friday.

Joseph Lawson, 22, was arrested Thursday evening, after police found him beaten and bloodied after the man he assaulted fought back, according to Lt. Todd Dodge’s police report.

Lawson told arresting officer Jason Haskins he had come to his friend Tyler Ribken’s apartment with a knife to scare him. Feeling threatened, Ribken hit Lawson with a baseball bat.

Lawson said that Ribken had put a hex on him, which made him hear voices that made him want to hurt his own parents and Ribken, according to Haskins’ report. Lawson admitted to mental health issues, including hallucinations and paranoia, wrote Haskins.

At 4:30 p.m., Dodge responded to 8 Coombs Ave. for a reported assault. Ribken told Dodge he had been friends with Lawson for about a decade, but the relationship had deteriorated lately, and Lawson began making threats against him over Facebook, according to Dodge’s report.

Ribken said his former friend sought retribution for a satanic hex he believed Ribken had placed on Lawson. Ribken told Dodge he used to practice Satanic rituals, but no longer did.

Ribken said Lawson knocked on his door and barged in with a knife in his hand.

Ribken then grabbed a wooden baseball bat he keeps by his oven, and struck his former friend in the head. He went down, but the knife stayed in his hand, and he began to get up. Then, said Ribken, he hit Lawson in the head with the bat a second time, according to Dodge’s report.

That time, said the report, Lawson dropped the knife, and left the apartment building, leaving a trail of blood.

He was found by Haskins near Ford of Greenfield on Main Street, and taken to the Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Haskins said that a CAT scan revealed no problems, and that Lawson did not have any broken bones, but did have cuts on his scalp and forehead.

Judge William Mazanec ordered Lawson put on house arrest in the custody of his parents in Charlemont pending trial. He was ordered to come back to court Monday for a GPS monitoring bracelet, because one was not available Friday.

If one is not available Monday, Lawson’s custody will be re-examined. His case will be heard again in Greenfield District Court on Feb. 15.

David Rainville can be reached at::
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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