Two people accused of impersonating police, beating man

Ella Purnell Michael Purnell/Parnell

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – Two people are accused of impersonating police and beating a man unconscious in South Bend, according to the probable cause affidavit.

On October 17, officers with the South Bend Police Department were called to a home in the 3500 block of Putnam Place for reports of a break-in and assault.

While traveling to the scene, officers learned the homeowner was unconscious and not breathing.

When officers arrived to the residence, they were directed upstairs to the home, where they found the victim lying on the ground, unconscious.

Officers noticed the victim suffered from numerous abrasions and marks on his head.

They also noticed he was not breathing and performed CPR on him.

They were able to revive him and he was later taken to the hospital.

Medical personnel said the victim suffered injury to his brain but is expected to survive.

Officers spoke to both the victim and another adult in the home as well as two children and learned that at approximately 6 a.m., people in the home were awoken to pounding at the door.

The victim and others heard voices yell “police”, reports said.

Thinking that the people at the door were police, those inside the home opened the door.

At this point, they saw that the people were not police but were Ella Purnell and Michael Purnell/Parnell, who are related to the victim.

Officers learned that Ella and Michael pushed their way into the home, reports said.

Brandishing a handgun, the two began beating the victim on the head and body until he was unconscious, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The two then left the home.

Officers learned there had been a dispute between the victim and Ella and Michael, reports said.

Neither Ella nor Michael had permission to enter the home, according to reports.

Officers found both Ella and Michael and both admitted to the dispute but denied going to the victim’s home and striking him, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Ella has been charged with battery by means of a deadly weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, impersonation of a public servant, and two counts of burglary.

Michael has been charged with burglary with a deadly weapon, burglary with serious bodily injury, battery by means of a deadly weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, and impersonation of a public servant.

Both are being held at the St. Joseph County Jail on a $7,500 bond.

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