An Alabama man has been charged with felony assault almost 30 years after he allegedly beat another man with a stick in Tuscaloosa.

According to court documents filed this week and information provided to the Tuscaloosa Thread by Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the multi-agency Violent Crimes Unit, the original crime took place back in 1992.

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In a deposition detailing the alleged attack, a law enforcement officer said the suspect is Michael Ezell, now 64 years old.

Ezell reportedly visited another man's apartment on 37th Avenue in Tuscaloosa on August 17, 1992 to ask about a barber who lived nearby.

According to the deposition, the victim turned away and was washing his face when Ezell, who was carrying a "large stick" struck him in the head and back.

A warrant for second-degree assault was signed almost a month later, on September 15, 1992, but Ezell was never captured and formally charged.

The case stayed open with the multi-jurisdictional homicide unit, now known as the VCU, though, and the warrant stayed active nationwide.

Kennedy said Ezell was recently located in another Alabama county, was taken into custody and transported back to the Tuscaloosa County Jail Saturday where his bond was set at $5,000.

Kennedy credited the advancement of the case to the structure of the VCU, which was created in November 1973 to overcome jurisdictional obstacles between different police agencies in Tuscaloosa County.

Even though the case was originally a Tuscaloosa Police investigation, because the assault was a crime of violence, the investigation was taken over by the homicide unit and the related files were stored at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, where the VCU is still headquartered.

TPD lost a large number of old files in the April 2011 tornado, Kennedy said, but when Ezell was discovered and arrested, the VCU was able to pull all of the nearly 30-year-old case files almost immediately.

Ezell has since been released on bond so his mugshot was not available at the time of publication. Kennedy said it will be up to the district attorney's office and the original victim, if he can be located, to decide the next steps in the 29-year-old case.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for additional updates on this case if and when they become available.

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