Assault sends one to jail, another to ICU.
A night of drinking turned ugly on Monday, Sept. 21 in the Ski Trails mobile home community when Mammoth resident Larry Weisbeck and his roommate Michael Bryant allegedly engaged in an altercation that ended with Bryant in jail and Weisbeck being airlifted to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.
Bryant, 49, of Mammoth Lakes was booked for a felony assault into Mono County Jail in Bridgeport, while Weisbeck, 61, remains in intensive care at Renown.
“They arrested him for assault with a deadly weapon,” said Bryant’s neighbor, who wished to remain unnamed. “Do you know what the deadly weapon was? It’s my rabbit statue in my garden back there!”
“It was just a bunch of guys being really bad at drinking,” the young woman said, who pointed to a similar statue still standing among the crushed chive plants and daisies in her yard and suggested that Weisbeck, who had been “drunk and stumbling,” may have tripped on the stairs and fallen into the statue. MLPD’s initial report of the incident stated that the victim had suffered his injury “as a result of being pushed down the stairs.”
“There’s always two sides to every story, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle,” said Sergeant Marc Moscowitz, who did not personally respond to the incident.
Weisbeck’s younger brother, Ken, also of Mammoth Lakes, told police and The Sheet that his brother had indeed been assaulted by Bryant. He claimed that they had been at Hilltop hot springs and returned home to find Bryant and an unknown woman, both allegedly intoxicated. A neighbor stated that the woman claimed she was from Malibu, while Ken Weisbeck described her as a “transient,” but neither could confirm her identity. The younger Weisbeck claimed that Bryant became angry when the woman began speaking to Larry in Japanese—the Weisbeck brothers are of Japanese heritage—and flew at him from inside the house, knocking Larry over the porch railing and into the yard. Ken Weisbeck said that he then grabbed Bryant and attempted to subdue him, injuring him in the process.
Shortly thereafter Ken realized that his brother was “curled up in the yard” and unresponsive. “I knew right away that something was wrong,” he said, and called 911. Medics arrived at the scene several minutes later, at about 11:35 PM, to find Larry inside with a head wound and not responding to pain stimuli. They transported him to Mammoth Hospital where doctors determined that his injuries were sufficiently serious to require transport to the Trauma Center at Renown.
On the other side of the small path that separates the two mobile homes between which Monday’s incident took place, another theory is proposed. “The trajectory of it doesn’t really work,” said the brothers’ neighbor, pointing out the construction of the staircase, about five feet high, from which the older brother allegedly fell. The stairs lead from the door of the Weisbecks’ home down into the yard where Larry ended up. According to Ken’s account, Bryant would have had to push Larry with enough force to send him out the door, over a railing and into the garden, a story his neighbor finds implausible. “I’ve seen Larry fall down countless times when he is intoxicated since he moved to Mammoth five months ago,” she said, and “I have never heard of Mike [Bryant] being involved in anything violent in the five years I have known him.”
The Weisbecks’ neighbor said that Bryant insists the brothers were inappropriately touching the woman in question and that it was a merely a case of drinking getting out of hand.
The Sheet spoke with Larry Weisbeck, who is still in Intensive Care, on Thursday morning. He stated that he does not remember what happened, and does not know his prognosis. “The doctor just said I had lots of blood in my brain, I don’t know how that happens, because you don’t usually have blood in your brain.”
He said he had moved to Mammoth in March of 2015 because he lost his housing in Santa Cruz, where he had been attending Cabrillo College and studying fine art. He had hoped to continue his education at Cerro Coso College but his new full-time job at the Quality Inn in Mammoth had required him to postpone his studies. As of press time, Weisbeck said that he had “a massive headache” and couldn’t eat anything.
Bryant was released on Wednesday evening after a 48-hour holding period. “We haven’t filed charges yet… [the suspect was] held based on the circumstances that night. The police believed Mr. Bryant needed to be in custody,” said Dave Anderson, Assistant District Attorney for Mono County. “We’re still missing witnesses that we can’t find right now, that aren’t locals, we’re still looking for them, and even then we may not know what happened … we’re still doing the investigation and we just couldn’t do it within two days,” he said, explaining Bryant’s release. “It’s either an intentional act or an accident and we don’t want to put somebody in jail who didn’t do anything.”