Deputies: Man beats elderly victim, steals golf balls in attack on course

Suspect claims he was defending himself

Tyler Dearden
Tyler Dearden (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A 22-year-old suspect stole golf balls from an elderly man then beat the victim after claiming that he was going to apologize, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they were called to Stone Creek Golf Club Wednesday morning and found the 67-year-old victim suffering from multiple bruises, a black eye that was swollen nearly shut, injuries to his mouth and a broken rib. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he received nine stitches, records show.

The victim said he was golfing when Tyler Dearden started taking golf balls out of his bucket and when he told him to stop, Dearden began yelling and cursing at the man, according to the affidavit.

Dearden followed the victim as he went to the pro shop to report the incident and when the victim went back to the driving range, Dearden claimed he wanted to apologize but instead punched the victim and knocked him to the ground, records show.

Deputies said witnesses saw Dearden hitting the victim in the head, punching him repeatedly and kicking him in the chest.

Dearden was later interviewed at his home and he claimed he was defending himself because the elderly man pointed a golf club at him, according to the report. Dearden was also upset about being kicked out of the golf club since he lives in the community.

Dearden was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery on a person 65 or older.

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