A Florida man is accused of viciously attacking another man on Sunday evening in a dispute that was apparently over a bottle of vodka, authorities say.
According to a police report from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a battery call in Stuart. When they arrived to the American Legion parking lot, an “intoxicated” man covered in blood approached officers, saying he’d been beaten up by a homeless man named Louis Piselli.
The victim, John O’Rourke, reported that he and Piselli had been sitting in his van nearby in the parking lot of Lowes. The two men had only known each other a short time, having met at the Martin County Fairgrounds for a Thanksgiving dinner served by a church group, he said.
While sitting in the car, O’Rourke told officers that Piselli asked him if he had any vodka. The victim replied that he had a half a pint and handed him the bottle, which Piselli began to “chug,” read the report.
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O’Rourke told Piselli he was “upset” that he was drinking all his booze, and that’s when the situation escalated. Piselli then allegedly grabbed the man by his hair, slammed his head against the steering wheel and dragged him out of the van to beat him some more, biting his right ear in the process.
When O’Rourke grabbed a stick to defend himself, he said Piselli threw his bike at him, which snapped the stick in half. The victim said Piselli then “punched his face multiple times and slammed his face into the curb,” and fled on his bike. But not before he threatened to come back and “murder” O’Rourke at midnight.
While O’Rourke was being treated for a head laceration at a local hospital, officers went back to the Lowes parking lot, where they encountered Piselli, who had slurred speech, watery eyes and dried blood on the front and back of his hands. When asked about the blood, Piselli said he cut himself shaving, read the report, which adds there were no cuts on his face consistent with a shaving injury. On the ground near the victim’s van, officers found a large pool of blood, a broken stick and an empty, blood-stained vodka bottle.
Officers ran the suspect’s name and found an outstanding warrant for violation of a domestic violence injunction and he was placed under arrest. While in the patrol car, the affadavit says he began to curse at officers, tried to make himself throw up and spat on a deputy.
The 52-year-old was charged with aggravated battery with great bodily harm and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Piselli was taken to the Martin County Jail., where he remains. Bond was set at $12,500.