Wagoner County Man Attacked With Shovel While Asleep, Suspect Out On Bond

Thursday, February 28th 2013, 9:55 pm

By: News On 6

The family of a Wagoner man who was attacked with a shovel is frustrated that justice seems slow in coming.

Steffon Griffin said the attack happened while he was asleep, and every bone in his face but one was broken.

Steffon said he and the suspect know each other. In fact, Steffon had punched the suspect, the week before, over an unpaid debt. But he said he thought their disagreement was over, and he never dreamed the man would do something so violent to someone who was so helpless, at the time.

He says he was sitting by a bonfire at a party two weeks ago, playing the guitar and singing, before he fell asleep in a lawn chair around 2 a.m.

Steffon said, the next thing he remembers is waking up in the car, with blood everywhere.

"It was horrible. I could feel the bones crunching against each other. I could hear them. It was bad," Steffon said.

Steffon said every bone in his face was broken except his jaw, and it's now detached from his skull. He said the surgery took five hours and he now has six titanium plates and 50 screws in his face, plus 50 stitches in his nose.

"I am shocked. I didn't see this coming. I would not have been there, if I thought something like this would take place," Steffon said.

Wagoner County Sheriff's deputies arrested Paul Byrd about three hours later. He has since bonded out.

Steffon said he saw Byrd at the party, but didn't sense any hostility. He said they didn't exchange words, but there was drinking.

Steffon's mother, Angie, is ready for charges to be filed.

"Instead of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to harm, it needs to be intent to kill, because he hit someone in the face with a shovel, a metal shovel. Even the handle was metal," Steffon said.

She and Steffon believe Byrd should spend time behind bars for this attack, and she wants to see something happen sooner rather than later.

"The whole community is in an uproar about this. The cowardly way he did it has upset everybody, and the fact he's roaming the streets," Angie said.

Steffon won't be able to eat solid food for another couple of weeks, when his jaws are unwired, and it will be months before an oral surgeon can begin repairing the damage to his teeth.

The Wagoner County District Attorney said they got the case about a week ago and are going over the paperwork.


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