West Tisbury police arrest two brothers on assault charges


Two West Tisbury brothers face criminal charges in connection with a violent assault at a party in August. Police said this week that the violence stemmed from an effort to collect a debt.

Acting on an arrest warrant issued at the request of West Tisbury Police, Edgartown police located and arrested Elliott G. Tholen, 22, and William H. Tholen, 23, both of West Tisbury on October 14, on charges that included assault, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (fence post and foot), threat to commit a crime (murder), assault and battery with intent to maim, mayhem, strangling and kidnapping.

The brothers were arraigned Friday. William Tholen was released Saturday on $10,000 bail. Elliot Tholen was released Friday on $2,500 bail.

According to a press release, West Tisbury Police issued Friday, police began the investigation that led them to seek charges, after the 23-year-old male victim, a resident of Vermont and West Tisbury whom police did not identify, went to the police station on September 6 to report that he attended a party in West Tisbury on August 21. He told police that he was attacked at the party, and he asked how he might get restitution for medical bills.

According to police, the Tholen brothers took the victim to a field and asked for money he owed their mother for past rent. “When the victim tried to get away, he was tackled and punched repeatedly, held down, strangled, assaulted with a fence post, threatened to be burned with a lit cigarette, and stepped on,” police said.

The assault ended when a witness came upon the scene. When more people came down the road, the brothers let the victim go, police said.