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House party ends with weapon drawn; man beaten

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By Carol A. Clark

A man with his face and clothing covered in blood staggered towards Los Alamos Police Lt. Reggie Briggle as he responded to a call involving an assault by a man with a gun at 2337-B 45th Street Monday. Upon arriving on the scene at 10 p.m., a neighbor directed Briggle to a walkway behind him where he encountered a severely beaten David Ellenberg, 21, 3408 Urban. According to the police report, others at the scene scattered before Briggle arrived.The beating followed a party earlier at the home where Andrew Garsik, 19, lives. Alcohol was consumed at the party, according to police, and at some point Garsik and Ellenberg got into a fight. Others in attendance, including Riley Evans, 19, 1533 Camino Medio and Dominick Crandall, 19, 2482-A 46th Street, separated the two, but a scuffle continued outside the home before Ellenberg finally left.According to police, Ellenberg returned a short time later and knocked on the door. When Garsik answered, Ellenberg shoved the revolver in his face. Crandall, Evans and another friend pounced on Ellenberg. Crandall told police he got Ellenberg into a "sleeper hold" and lowered him down to the doorway as he passed out.Ellenberg reportedly came to quickly and resumed fighting. Garsik, Evans and Crandall, according to the report, began hitting and kicking Ellenberg in the face.At this point, the neighbor intervened. He demanded they stop fighting and turn the gun over to him. They did, according to the report, and the neighbor placed the gun on the trunk of his vehicle, guarding it until police arrived.Cpl. Edward Chavez arrived at the scene and took possession of the gun. He and Cpl. Bryant Cox checked others at the scene for weapons and found none, according to the report.“This could have had a tragic outcome,” Chavez said during an interview Tuesday afternoon. “While we don't recommend citizen involvement as a general rule, in this particular case we commend this neighbor for stepping in when he did.”Ofc. Jason Wardlow assisted at the scene.Los Alamos Fire Department personnel treated Ellenberg on site before transporting him to Los Alamos Medical Center for further treatment. He was later taken into custody and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. According to police, Ellenberg claimed to have no memory of the incident.Lt. Reggie Briggle said this morning that Garsik, Crandall and Evans have not been arrested. “We’re still investigating the case,” Briggle said. “Other charges may be filed at a later date depending on the outcome.”This is the second event in a month in which weapons were produced at parties filled with teens and alcohol. In both cases, vigilant neighbors alerted police who arrived in time to secure the weapons before anyone was hurt or killed.