Erie County Sheriff's deputy arrested, charged in beating incident

Posted at 12:29 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-10 10:14:19-04

An Erie County Sheriff's deputy has been arrested and charged in an alleged burglary and beating incident, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Paul Barner broke into a room at the Stadium View Inn in Hamburg, and held a victim down to the floor while his friend beat the man with a bat.

His friend, 30-year-old Brian Kruszka, is also charged in the incident.

"Two individuals had forced themselves into his room and assaulted him with some kind of a bat or a club," said Hamburg Police Chief Greg Wickett.

The DA's office says the beating caused cuts and heavy bleeding to the victim. According to prosecutors, nothing was stolen from the victim.

Hamburg Police say the incident started because the Barner and Kruszka had a dispute with the victim. 

"They had accused him of doing something and they were there to settle the score or whatever their motive may have been," Wickett said.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office says Barner has been suspended without pay, and will be until the investigation or criminal charges are complete.

Police say Barner was a good deputy and has been on the force for a number of years. They also say he served in Iraq.

"These are serious charges and it's unfortunate because a young man's career is in jeopardy now," said Wickett.

Both Barner and Kruszka were arraigned in Town of Hamburg Court and pleaded not guilty.