Police Tape Crime Tape (copy)

Four of the six kayakers that were assaulted on Saturday were University of Georgia students. 

A man has been charged with aggravated assault and simple battery in connection with an attack on a group of kayakers Saturday evening, according to a jail booking report.

Justin Matthew Bruce, 31, turned himself into the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning, Capt. Jimmy Patton said in an email Friday. Bruce, from Royston, attacked a group of kayakers getting out of the Broad River near Comer, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

Four of the six kayakers are University of Georgia students, according to the incident report.

Bruce asked one of the kayakers — a man with long hair — if he was a “man-b----” or a “b-----man.” He then attacked the man, so the group tried to stop Bruce, according to the incident report. Bruce held one of the group members under the water for 30 to 45 seconds and punched another in the face.

Witnesses told police Bruce’s girlfriend told him to stop and “just hit her” instead. The witnesses said Bruce kept saying he was a Marine and has PTSD, the incident report said.

Bruce told the group he had a gun in his truck and would kill them with it, according to the incident report. The group ran in different directions, and Bruce left in a blue Ford F-150 with three kayaks in the back. Police did not locate Bruce or his vehicle on the road at the time.

Bruce is awaiting a bond hearing through Magistrate Court, Patton said in the email.

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