Police: 157 Lounge owner charged with first-degree misdemeanor assault

Pedestrians walk past 157 Lounge on South Water Street in downtown Kent on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2018.

Matthew Guska, the co-owner of 157 Lounge in Kent, was arraigned on a charge of first-degree misdemeanor assault Tuesday following a May 14 incident in his bar where police said he hit a patron in the head with a flashlight and injured him.

A warrant was issued for Guska’s arrest after a criminal complaint was filed by Andrew Creger, the alleged victim. The complaint states Creger had a semi-circular cut and was bleeding from his head after Guska knowingly caused or attempted to cause Creger physical harm.

Police confirmed Creger had a cut on his head but said Guska denied hitting him and claimed Creger was uncooperative, pushed Guska and wrestled with him when Creger was told to leave the bar.

“After the initial interview of the victim, suspect and witnesses on scene, the officer had probable cause to determine charges were appropriate against Mr. Guska,” said Lt. Mike Lewis of the Kent Police Department. “That’s where we’re at now.”

Brian Taubman, who is listed as Guska’s attorney in court documents, responded to an initial email requesting comment but did not respond to a list of follow-up questions at the time of publication. 

Guska pleaded guilty in May 2019 to a first-degree misdemeanor assault charge following a September 2018 incident that also involved Guska hitting a patron in the head with a flashlight. 

In September 2019, another criminal assault complaint was filed against Guska that alleged he pushed down a patron and destroyed his driver’s license. The case was eventually dismissed. 

Guska pleaded not guilty to the incident from May 14 and is set to appear at a pre-trial hearing on June 2 at the Portage County Municipal Court’s Kent branch.

“The investigating officer will still work the case for the next few weeks,” Lewis said, as they attempt to “obtain surveillance video, medical records of the victim’s injuries, more witness statements, etc.”

KentWired was unable to immediately reach Creger for comment.

Rachel Gross is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].