West Lafayette Police

A 33-year-old homeless man allegedly beat another man who had been allowing him to stay in his apartment Sunday night.

Stratton Daniel Berninger was charged Monday with felony strangulation and confinement and misdemeanor battery in an incident at 320 Brown St., behind the Wabash Landing complex in West Lafayette.

A woman told West Lafayette police that she and her boyfriend had allowed Berninger to stay in their apartment for a few days, according to a probable cause affidavit. The 47-year-old male victim had blood on his face and told police Berninger had accused him and his girlfriend of talking about him when they had not been, which sparked the encounter.

The victim told police Berninger "was making statements that 'he is like a god,'" began punching him in his face and his stomach and then choked him before running out the door when the woman called police, according to the probable cause affidavit.

An officer later spotted someone fitting Berninger's description walking west on Connolly Street. According to the court record, Berninger told officers he had been out walking for the previous three hours and that he had not been in the apartment. At one point, according to the affidavit, he "began rambling about an ex-girlfriend in jail he was watching via his 'third eye.'"

Officers noted blood stains and bruising on his knuckles; Berninger told them he had had a bloody nose.

Berninger has five active warrants out of Montgomery County, all stemming from charges filed since September. They include possession of meth and marijuana, theft, disorderly conduct, and prostitution (that one filed just last week).

He is being held on $1,000 bond in the Tippecanoe County Jail.

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