VENUS - The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fight that occurred early Sunday morning at a private party in the 1000 block of Marion.

“We were dispatched to a report of a fight in progress at 2:12 a.m.,” sheriff’s Capt. Danny Williams said. “We arrived within 10 minutes, but the suspects were already gone.”

One male victim, Tony Armstrong, 21, had already been transported to the hospital via a private vehicle, with deputies finding several other injured people at the scene.

Deputies were told from five to eight males had begun harassing other people at the birthday party before attacking one of the other male guests and assaulting him, Williams said, saying that was the victim who was transported to the hospital.

“The suspects left the scene in a gold or dark-colored 1990s model pickup before deputies arrived,” Williams said.

A family member of Armstrong’s said the suspects are in their late 20s and older than the younger-aged crowd that was at the party.

“It was unnecessary, they literally tried to kill him,” Sheila Dennard said of her stepson, who just turned 21. “He was approached by some people from Italy. … One guy just slugged him, then a second, then a third.”

Dennard said the men cursed her stepson and beat on him for several minutes before someone was able to get him away and take him to the hospital. One of the suspects made the remark he wasn’t going to leave “until he killed someone,” she said, saying nobody invited the men to the party, which was on private property near Venus.

Dennard said she doesn’t know the suspects but said they were identified from a license plate that was written down and turned over to authorities.

“The kids had never seen them before,” she said, saying her stepson faces surgery later this week to have steel plates implanted in his face.

It was a Mother’s Day phone call Dennard said she never expected to receive.

“I’m so upset about this. He could have died,” she said, describing Armstrong as a “walking miracle.”

“Thankfully, he’s alive,” she said, adding, “I just hope justice is served.”

In a brief telephone interview from his home Tuesday, Armstrong said he didn’t know what prompted the attack.

“I don’t know what it was,” he said. “I turned around and they hit me. The next thing I knew I had about six people on me from Italy. They crushed my face, broke my nose, my eye socket.”

Armstrong said he had never seen the men before the party, which was held to celebrate his and several friends’ May birthdays, with people attending from the Maypearl, Venus and Midlothian areas.

“They (the suspects) came out there just to start some trouble,” he said.

At least two people of the five victims reported at the party were injured as a result of trying to break up the fight.

“There was another subject who was assaulted that was trying to get the men off of the first victim,” Williams said. “This person was struck in the head with a beer bottle, which caused a deep cut on his forehead. Another person who was trying to break up the fight was a female, who was struck in the face, receiving minor injuries.

“Another person assaulted by the suspects was struck in the mouth with an unknown object and received a deep cut on his bottom lip,” Williams said. “Another subject was struck in the face and head several times, possibly from a fist.”

The case remains under investigation.

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