DENVER
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Joseph Stancato, Of Denver, Charged With Assault After Hitting Man With His Banjo

A Denver man used his banjo for more than just picking bluegrass tunes.

Early on New Year's Day, Joseph Stancato, 32, allegedly hit a man in the head with his banjo during an altercation.

The Aspen Times reports:

Police said Stancato and a friend got into a minor altercation with other men near the intersection of Mill Street and Hyman Avenue during New Year's Eve festivities. Police broke up the scrum and sent the men on their separate ways.

One group went to the Rubey Park Transit Center where they discovered they missed their bus at about 2:15 a.m. Friday. A police officer was helping the men by getting a Tipsy Taxi voucher for them at a nearby bar when Stancato and his friend came across their foes from the earlier melee.

Stancato swung his banjo at the victim after things got heated again, and his friend, John Holley, 25, of Lone Tree, punched the same man. The two fled the scene and were soon arrested.

Stancato faces charges of second-degree assault, a felony. Holley received a summons for third degree assault and was released with a misdemeanor.

According to KDVR Colorado law considers the banjo and "deadly weapon" and Stancato could face time in prison.

The Aspen Daily News reported on Tuesday that a judge has approved Stancato's request to go on the road with a band until his next court date on Feb. 6. The Daily News also reports that he faces 8 to 32 years in prison if he's convicted of the alleged assault.