Ron Wilkins-Lafayette Journal & Courier
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Jason Lee Hathaway started the fight outside of Big League Sports Bar late Saturday that ended with Nicholas Lusson’s death, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against Hathaway and another man involved in the fight, Brandon Johnson, 25, of Anderson.
On Thursday, prosecutors dismissed charges against Johnson after they learned that Johnson has a license to carry a handgun.
As a large group of bikers arrived at the bar, bouncer Brandon Osborne was standing outside of the sports bar at 140 Frontage Road with Brandon Wilcox, 34, of Lafayette, and Colton Mitchell, 31, of Rochester, about 10:20 p.m. Saturday.
Osborne turned around when he heard someone yell, and that’s when Hathaway punched Osborne with brass knuckles and hit him in the head with a tire iron, prosecutors said in a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday with charges. Hathaway hit Osborne several more times, according to the affidavit.
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On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Hathaway, 43, of Michigan City, with battery with a deadly weapon and filed that they intend to charge Hathaway with a sentence-enhancing charge of criminal gang activity.
The criminal gang activity allegation is that Hathaway is a member of a gang who acted at the direction of the gang or to further the interest of the gang, according to the charging information.
Lafayette police said the fight was between rival motorcycle gangs — the Hells Angels and the Mongols.
After the initial attack, Osborne told police he saw several people pointing guns at him, according to the affidavit.
During the melee, Lusson hit Mitchell in the head with a metal object, and Mitchell stabbed Lusson, 36, in the chest with a knife, according to Lafayette police.
Lusson died in the parking lot.
After the stabbing, the two motorcycle gangs gathered in the bar’s parking lot in the strip mall just west of the Cracker Barrel and north of Indiana 26. Lafayette police had every patrol officer on duty that night in the parking lot and later dispatched the SWAT team to keep the peace. Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office had five of its six on-duty deputies at the scene.
West Lafayette police responded to calls in Lafayette, and Indiana State Police assisted the sole patrolling deputy by answering calls in the sheriff’s office district.
Mitchell, who police said stabbed Lusson, has not been arrested or charged.
Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said Thursday that they are reviewing the case to determine if Mitchell will be charged.
After police reviewed the bar’s video surveillance, officers arrested Johnson.
Police initially suspected Johnson of pointing a firearm because video showed him pulling a pistol as he approached Osborne, Wilcox and Mitchell.
On Wednesday prosecutors charged Johnson with carrying a handgun without a license.
On Thursday, after Johnson had posted a $500 cash bond and been released from jail, prosecutors learned that Johnson does have a license to carry a handgun and the state dismissed the charge, according to online court records and Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington.
Hathway remained incarcerated Thursday morning at the Tippecanoe County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 surety bond and a $10,000 cash bond, according to online jail records. There also hold on his release, according to the records.