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Three arrested for Rock the South assault

CULLMAN — The Cullman Police Department has arrested three North Alabama men for the alleged beating of an 18-year-old man at Rock the South last weekend.

In a news conference today, Cullman Police Chief David Nassetta said William Joseph Vinson Jr., 20, of Harvest; Zachary Scott Taylor, 21, of Athens; and Chance Marcus Alan Starling, 20, of Toney; have been charged with assault second, a class C felony.

The chief said warrants were issued for the men Tuesday and they were taken into custody in Madison and Limestone counties. Nassetta said the men bonded out this morning.
He said social media helped play a role in identifying the offenders.


“That was a big factor,” Nassetta said. “We got the video which was a great help. Obviously, the people who were able to look at the video and give us the identities of the people who were involved.

“It was really an important part of the puzzle for people to be able to look at the video and say ‘yeah, I know those guys.'”

Nassetta said believes the size of the crowd and alcohol played a large role in the beating.


“Typically, we can expect at any one time in the park we have probably about 35,000-40,000 people,” he said. “So that’s a lot of people and when you have that many people, alcohol and that kind of stuff, again it doesn’t matter what venue you are at, that’s going to happen.”

According to the chief, however, the vast majority of festival attendees behaved in a lawful manner.

“I think the most important thing to remember is that of those 35,000-40,000 people, we had the overwhelming majority of them that exercised the great self restraint to not go and beat other people unconscious, but these three did,” he said.

“I think we need to make sure that we put the blame squarely where it belongs.”

Nassetta made clear the offenders will be held accountable.

“Most people understand that this was an incident that people are not going to tolerate,” he said. “I’m not going to give a lot of details but the reason that we feel this all started was absolutely heinous.

“To do something like that over such a small matter, I think it’s important that people understand that folks like that need to be held accountable.”

Nassetta commended Sgt. Trey Higginbotham “for all his hard work on this case.” He also thanked the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, Huntsville Police Department, and the Metro Area Crime Center for their assistance.

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