Mar 8, 2012 8:50 PM by Lacey Steele

Canon City man still in ICU after assault

What was meant to be a belated Valentine's Day celebration has turned into a nightmare for one Canon City couple.

"He gave me a new ring for Valentine's Day, and everything was just perfect," said Angie Blankinship. "We were talking about all sorts of things, camping this summer and just different things that we want to do."

Angie and Dennis Blankinship were celebrating at On the Rocks in Canon City with some friends in the early morning hours of February 23.

Just before closing time workers were trying to get everyone to leave.

While she was paying the tab, she says Dennis tried to help get people out the door.

"I walked out the door, and I see these two kids just running down the street," said Angie. "I turned around, and Dennis was on his back, on the sidewalk, and there was a big pool of blood coming out of his head."

According to police, Michael "Mickey" Koonce, 22, punched Dennis Blankinship.

Witnesses say Dennis fell down the front steps but appeared to be unconscious before hitting the ground.

Koonce was originally charged with first degree assault, but a witness recognized him from mixed martial arts fighting.

After an investigation the charge was changed to first degree assault with a deadly weapon.

The weapon is Koonce himself.

"Mr. Koonce, the defendant, has some particular skills that formed the basis for the charges that we filed in this case," said District Attorney Thom LeDoux. "He was acting at the time with a deadly weapon."

For someone to be injured severely from a punch is not something they deal with often.

"Not common at all," said Captain Jim Cox of the Canon City Police Department. "It's very unfortunate. It sounds like he's really received some serious injuries."

Dennis is still in the ICU.

His family says he suffered three fractures to his skull and a laceration to his face.

They add he's still not breathing on his own.

"Dennis and I have been married a little over four years, and I finally have a husband that's just awesome," said Angie.

Koonce posted bail and is awaiting his next court appearance.

If Blankinship's condition changes, the charges could change as well.



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