Three men were taken into custody after the brutal beating of another man late Saturday outside a New Haven bar.

The violent assault led to a manhunt for two of the suspects who had fled the area, one of whom had a handgun. 

According to New Haven Police Chief Christopher Hammann, officers were dispatched to the parking lot of Hilltop Bar and Lounge at 11:43 p.m. for a report of a disturbance involving a firearm.

The initial radio report indicated the victim may have been shot, based on the extent of his injuries, Hammann said, adding that one of the suspects who fled the scene was in possession of a firearm. 

The victim had not been shot, and he was immediately taken to Mercy Hospital Washington by New Haven ambulance. He was later transferred to Mercy Hospital St. Louis for an emergency surgery, police said.

Bryan D. Moehlmann, 27, New Haven, was charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with first-degree assault, causing serious injury. He is in custody the Franklin County Jail where he is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.

Jason R. Willoughby, 38, Wildwood, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, and eight counts of fourth-degree assault. He is being held on a $150,000 cash-only bond. 

According to Hammann, charges are pending against Scotty Thornhill, Wildwood. 

Response/Manhunt

Police were on the scene within one minute, and had set up a perimeter within five minutes in an effort to locate three suspects.

According to Hammann, one suspect was immediately taken into custody on Highway 100.

He stated that another suspect brandished a firearm in the face of witnesses at the Hilltop Bar before he fled on foot.

Due to that threat, Hammann explained, New Haven police called for mutual aid from several agencies, including the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and SWAT team, Hermann Police Department, Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis Metro Air Support Helicopter, New Haven EMS, New Haven Fire Department and Washington Police Department.

Once agencies arrived at the scene a command post was established at the scene of the assault. 

New Haven Care Center and Casey’s General Store were put on lockdown during the search for the suspects. 

Hammann said the second suspect was located hiding in bushes behind a home in the 200 block of Maupin Avenue. He was taken in custody and a firearm was seized.

During the investigation, officers located the third man at his home in 100 block of Arizona Street. He also was arrested. 

All three suspects were taken into custody within approximately 90 minutes from the time the disturbance was dispatched, Hammann said.

“Without the help of the above listed agencies, the New Haven Police Department could not have had such quick and successful resolution to this incident,” he said. “We value our relationships with surrounding agencies and extend our thanks to them for their support during this incident.”

According to court records, Willoughby pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in 2011. He was placed on five years’ supervised probation on a suspended executed sentence (s.e.s). 

Moehlmann has previous misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance, driving while intoxicated, trespassing and traffic violations, according to court records. 

Dispatchers

Franklin County dispatchers were placed on “emergency operations” at 12:53 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, due to the call volumes.

According to the sheriff’s office, emergency operations occur when there is an “overload” in calls. 

It means that nonessential calls are not dispatched by the same means as other emergency situations. Authorities said all 911 calls still are answered, but there is less radio traffic during emergency operations.