POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida duo is behind bars after authorities said they used an aluminum baseball bat to beat a man pumping gas at a Winter Haven gas station.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, the incident unfolded Tuesday around 8 a.m. as an unidentified victim and their female passenger pumped gas at the Chevron, located at 2100 First Street North in Winter Haven.
As the two waited for their tank to fill, 44-year-old Jose Padilla Torres, of Winter Haven, pulled up on the opposite side of the pump and ran inside the store while his 44-year-old female passenger, Aracelis Santiago, also of Winter Haven, waited in the car.
Officers said things took a turn when Torres came out of the store and began yelling across the parking lot at the victim. Authorities said the victim walked across the aisle to see what Torres was yelling about when Torres reached into his vehicle and grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and began to strike the victim.
Security camera video capturing the altercation showed the victim block the strike, causing a minor injury to his hand. He then grabbed Torres and took him to the ground to prevent another attack.
That’s when Santiago got out of the car, grabbed the bat, and swung it at the victim. At the same time, the victim’s girlfriend ran over to the confrontation and stopped Santiago from striking the victim.
As the melee wound down, Torres and Santiago got back in their sedans while the victim’s girlfriend went to their vehicle.
Officers said the victim was still outside of Torres’ car when Torres backed up and sped forward striking the victim.
The crash sent the victim up onto the hood and into the windshield. The victim rolled off the car while authorities said Torres sped around the pumps and attempted to strike the victim a second and third time.
As the victim attempted to leave the gas station, Torres struck the right rear side of the victim’s vehicle as he drove around the parking lot a fourth time.
Both parties drove in separate directions but ended up at the same intersection of Avenue V Northeast and 2nd Street Northeast where another verbal altercation broke out.
There, officers met with both parties and arrested Torres and Santiago.
Both Torres and Santiago were booked into the Polk County Jail. Torres was charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief more than $1000. Santiago was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.