ORANGE CITY, Fla. – A man accused of slashing a teen’s face in a random attack showed up drunk to a family friend’s house after the fact and admitted that he hid in the bushes and attacked someone, according to the Orange City Police Department.
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Records show a 15-year-old boy was playing basketball by himself at Mill Lake Park Saturday afternoon and as he was walking home because it had started to rain, a man came up from behind and used a sharp object to cut the right side of the boy’s face.
Police said the cut was 6 to 8 inches long and 1 inch deep. A picture of his injury shows that it required about two dozen stitches.
The boy said he had no enemies, wasn’t involved with drugs and didn’t know who would attack him, according to the report.
“My son is a 15-year-old boy who is introverted, kind-hearted and would not bother a soul,” said the victim’s mother, who spoke out at the suspect’s first appearance Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a witness met with detectives to provide information about the case.
The witness said that on Saturday, Nathaniel Peoples, a close family friend, came to his home drunk and “off his meds” and said that he had just “gave a jit a buck fifty,” records show. A “buck fifty” is prison slang for slashing someone’s face from their mouth to their ear.
The witness said 23-year-old Peoples hid in the bushes then jumped out and attacked the boy, although Peoples thought the victim was an adult and not a teen, according to the affidavit.
Peoples also told his family friends that they should watch the news for more details about the crime, authorities said.
Records show the witness was also able to provide a description of what Peoples was wearing that day, which matched the clothing the victim described. The witness also provided a description of Peoples' vehicle, which was the same one seen jumping a curb while fleeing the scene, according to police.
Orange City Police gave News 6 video showing People’s leaving the park in a black SUV shortly after the incident they said.
Authorities said they were able to locate Peoples' vehicle at a relative’s house, where he was arrested Tuesday night.
According to the report, Peoples said he was “probably” at the crime scene but didn’t admit to slashing the boy’s face.
The victim’s mother made an emotional plea in court at the suspect’s first appearance Wednesday.
“My son did not do a thing to this man. Doesn’t know him, wouldn’t know him. Anybody who walked by that street that day could have been the victim of this crime,” she said. “I ask your honor to not give this man a bond.”
Peoples is facing a charge of aggravated battery and was given a bond of $50,000 for that charge, but the judge said Peoples will remains bars on no bond on a separate domestic charge.
Court records show Peoples has been arrested before on prior charges like aggravated assault, driving without a license and more.