BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — Police are trying to identify one or more assailants who left a Salem man outside an apartment building Wednesday night bleeding from head wounds that were apparently inflicted with a stair banister and a bottle.
One resident of the building at 31 Salem St., Kyle Callahan, 26, was arrested on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after police said he poured a bucket of water on the victim, Jason “Jay-Hood” Pelechowicz. But police have so far been unable to identify who caused the injuries to Pelechowicz.
Pelechowicz, 26, of Marblehead, was incoherent and drifting in and out of consciousness as police tried to speak with him outside the apartment house shortly before 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of several wounds to his head, police said in a report.
Police had been called to the address by residents who reported that a man, later identified as the victim, was pounding and kicking on doors in the apartment house, prosecutor Heidi Sylvanowicz said during Callahan’s arraignment.
Witnesses told police that they saw Pelechowicz arguing with a couple of men outside.
Callahan, who allegedly gave police a fake name and Social Security number because he was wanted on unrelated warrants, told officers that he had thrown the bucket of water on Pelechowicz.
Police spoke to two other men, Travis Knorr and Chris Ferguson, who said they were confronted by a belligerent Pelechowicz, who, they said, took a swing at them but fell over because he was drunk. Neither of the men has been charged.
Sylvanowicz said Callahan was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon because he would have known that on a cold night, the water would freeze, potentially injuring Pelechowicz, who was on the ground at that point.
Police found a broken bottle and a broken, bloody stair banister at the scene, said Sylvanowicz.
An investigation is ongoing.
Defense lawyer Chris Beares argued for his client’s release, saying Callahan was simply trying to stop a man from breaking into his home, and while pouring water on him may not have been the best idea, it was not an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
“He had a drunk man trying to beat his way into the building,” said Beares.
Judge Christopher LoConto set bail at $2,000 for Callahan, who will remain in custody until he deals with the outstanding warrants in other courts.
A spokeswoman at Massachusetts General Hospital was unable to provide details on Pelechowicz’s condition yesterday.
On Halloween 2007, Pelechowicz was also the victim of an attack in which he was stabbed four times on Palmer Street.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.