UPDATE: Charged with punching Aiken teen, man turns himself in

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A man charged with punching an Aiken teen has turned himself in Saturday morning and is being transferred to the Aiken County Detention Center, according to law enforcement.

44-year-old Paul Osborn is charged with third-degree assault and battery and disturbing the peace.

It comes after this video made the rounds on social media. It appears to show an 18-year-old getting punched in the face by a man at the Circle K off Whiskey Road in Aiken.

“It was a shock, it really was. We’re still kind of adjusting,” said the victim’s mother, Nicole Howell.

What caused the fight? Unfortunately, the description on the incident report made by Aiken Public Safety is only five sentences long and leaves a lot of questions. It looks more like a boxing ring than a gas station.

“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that a grown person took it to that level. Over a truck,” said Mollie Colburn, a parent of a witness.

She believes this all started over a squatted truck.

“But this has been like an ongoing issue. It’s like a daily thing for anybody that drives a squatted truck they get harassed by grown men,” said Colburn.

She says the man shouted insults at the teenagers over their trucks, they exchanged words, and then the fight happened. The incident report does not shed much light on what police believe happened. But it did indicate they believed the two were mutually combative, basically meaning they were both in the wrong.

“The man clearly walked up to Amir and swung on him. Point blank, there’s all there is to it,” said Colburn.

The 18-year-old in the video did not press charges on Thursday, but his mother tells News 12 it was because he was told he would face charges as well if he did so. He and his family later returned Friday morning to press charges, and after law enforcement reviewed security camera footage, they tell us no charges for the teen are forthcoming.

“When [we]... found out everything that was going on, that’s when we took it upon ourselves. We have to go and fight for him,” said his mother after urging police to reconsider deeming the fight being “mutually combative.”

“So, the cops were called, initially there wasn’t a lot being done about it. But Aiken public safety has stepped up and they’re looking into it so hopefully, something will be done about it soon,” said Colburn.

Now parents hope people will act more kindly when their kids are out around town.

“But it should have never. It could have gotten a lot worse. And that’s what I basically wanna tell all these grown people in Aiken. It’s getting out of hand, it’s going too far, and it could have been a lot worse yesterday,” said Colburn.

Though it’s been a tough situation for the teen, his family says they are thankful for the outpouring of support that came after the video went viral.

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