157 Lounge co-owner faces two felony assault charges


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

Brandon Bounds

UPDATE: A discovery hearing was scheduled for Jan. 9, but the judge was unavailable. The pre-trial hearing will be March 27 and the jury trial is scheduled to begin April 9.

A downtown Kent bar owner was indicted for allegedly hitting a patron with a flashlight at his bar in September.

Matthew Guska, co-owner of 157 Lounge on South Water Street, was indicted Friday on two counts of second-degree felonious assault.

Guska allegedly hit Mohammed Raja Alanazi, a customer at the bar, in the head with a flashlight Sept. 23, causing physical injuries.

According to a police report obtained by the Record-Courier, Alanazi told police he was arguing with another man at the bar. When Guska came over, the two men physically grabbed Alanazi and carried him out. Guska’s flashlight was then taken once police realized there was blood on the end of his flashlight, which also doubles as a taser.

The reports also noted when Kent City Police arrived, Alanazi was bleeding from the left side of his forehead, and the injury required six stitches.

Court records show Guska was arrested on Monday but was released on a $20,000 bond.

A pre-trial is set to begin March 27, 2019, and the jury trial is scheduled to start April 9, 2019.

Guska’s lawsuits against Kent State University and Kent State alumna Sarah Andrews, which both were originally scheduled to begin in 2019, were dismissed.

Guska was also set to appear in court on Feb. 11, 2019 for a complaint he filed on Oct. 18, 2017, alleging that he was defamed online by Sarah Andrews, a Kent State alumna.

Guska also filed a complaint in the Ohio Court of Claims against Kent State and one of its student-run magazines, Fusion, stating the magazine’s editor acted with “malicious purpose” and should be “personally held liable for his statements and actions” after posting an article accusing Guska of sexual harassment.

KentWired contacted Brian Taubman, Guska’s attorney, by phone Tuesday but he could not be immediately reached.

Brandon Bounds is TV2’s enterprise producer. Contact him at [email protected].

Senior reporter Ella Abbott contributed to this story. Contact her at [email protected]