Just before 4 a.m. Friday police were called to an apartment house on Federal Street in St. Albans for an alleged alcohol-fueled brawl between neighbors.
"Words were spoken. He didn't like what I had to say and then he came charging me," said Corey Worthen of St. Albans.
Worthen, 21, is talking about his neighbor, Joseph Devino. Worthen, Devino and a third man were celebrating Devino's 34th birthday when they started arguing. Worthen claims Devino and his friend jumped him.
"I was fighting back. I was in his house. I thought I was going to die. Two guys fighting with me in his house. I was fighting to live," Worthen said.
But a bloody and battered Devino was in court telling a different story. He claims Worthen assaulted and raped him, then stabbed him in the ear with a steak knife. Worthen told police he's homophobic and Devino's whole story is a lie.
"That's hilarious," Worthen laughed. "I don't even know how I could do that with him and his friend there. I'm not even like that. So, it's just funny that that was his excuse. He could have come up with a better one."
Police say injuries prove both men assaulted one another, but there's a real dispute in their stories.
"What I'll tell you is, it's much too complicated to try to sort out who did what when if no one will cooperate," St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor said.
Police say investigation into the attempted sexual assault is at a standstill since Devino would not consent to an exam and hit a hospital employee trying to treat his head wound.
"Mr. Devino became more and more agitated and combative and uncooperative at the hospital and while being X-rayed he assaulted an X-ray technician. He was subdued and taken into custody," Taylor said.
Devino denied the hospital attack allegation in court and prosecutors dropped the aggravated assault charges against Worthen for now.
Police have identified the third man in the apartment, but have not released his name. They say they're continuing to investigate his role in both assaults and say it's likely that he, too, will face criminal charges.