Man Attacked with Golf Club for Walking on Cart Path

May 10, 2023 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

In Florida, a person can face differing charges for battery, which will vary depending on several factors. One of these factors is the level of injury the alleged victim sustained, along with whether or not the defendant had a weapon. In a recent Florida case, a man is now facing aggravated battery charges for hitting another person with a “deadly weapon” golf club.

This page will explain the details of the battery incident, along with the varying battery charges in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Lake County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Eddie Orobitg, 52, in response to allegations of him hitting another person with a golf club for walking on a golf course.

According to the report, the victim and his wife were walking through the Harbor Hills Country Club golf course when they were approached by Orobitg. The defendant had been playing golf with his son at the time and told the couple they were not allowed to walk on the path because it was “intended for golf carts and it is a rule of the golf course.”

The arrest affidavit stated that the victim and Orobitg got into an argument, and the defendant proceeded to spit in the victim’s face. Orobitg is then accused of striking the victim in the leg with his golf course. This led to a further physical altercation between the two men.

According to the victim, Orobitg continued to hit him with the golf club several times—once getting struck in the back of the head from behind. Once the police arrived, the victim was unable to provide a written statement but gave a verbal one.

The victim claimed they had their ribs broken during the incident, and had blood stains on his clothes and body. There were also several cuts on his body, including a “ripped” ear lobe.

Officials say the victim was taken to the hospital to treat a potentially broken rib, possible traumatic brain injury, and potentially a broken jaw.

Orobitg has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery.

Types of Battery Charges in Florida

The criminal act of battery is defined as the unlawful application of force directly or indirectly upon another person or their belongings, either resulting in offensive contact or bodily injury.

In Florida, a person accused of committing a battery offense can face either a simple battery charge, a felony battery charge, or an aggravated battery charge. Each charge has differing penalties ranging in severity. The main difference between simple battery and aggravated battery is the level of harm sustained by the alleged victim. 

Florida Statute Section 784.03 explains a person has committed a battery offense when he or she:

  • Actually and intentionally touches or hits another person against their will; or
  • Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

A simple battery charge results in a first-degree misdemeanor. In Florida, the penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

The charge can be enhanced to a felony battery charge if the defendant has a prior conviction for any battery charge and commits a second or subsequent offense. If the defendant had a prior conviction, they would then face a third-degree felony. In Florida, the penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years of imprisonment.

Under Florida Statute Section 784.045, a person can be charged with aggravated battery if while during the commission of battery:

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement;
  • Uses a deadly weapon; or
  • The alleged victim was pregnant and the offender knew or should have known that the alleged victim was pregnant at the time of the battery offense.

An aggravated battery charge is considered a second-degree felony. In Florida, the penalties for a second-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

For the example case above, the defendant was likely charged with an aggravated battery offense for the use of the golf club—or in this case, the “deadly weapon.” For the purposes of an aggravated battery prosecution, an item is considered a “deadly weapon” if it is used or yielded in a way that would likely produce great bodily harm or death.

Defenses to a Battery Charge

Given the violent nature of a battery offense, a defendant facing battery charges may feel as if they’ve already lost their case. However, battery is a charge that has a large variety of defenses that can be used on a case-to-case basis. Connecting with a defense attorney in your area can add the extra benefit of working with a legal professional.

The following is a list of possible defenses to a battery charge in Florida:

  • The defendant acted in Self-Defense;
  • The defendant lacked the intent to commit the offense or to carry out the threat;
  • There is evidence that the alleged victim falsely accused the defendant of the criminal offense;
  • The defendant acted in such a way to defend others; or
  • The instrument or object used during the alleged battery is not a “deadly weapon.”

Also, keep in mind that the burden remains on the prosecutors to prove that the alleged crime happened. Having an experienced attorney can make all the difference in showing a jury the inconsistencies or bias in the prosecutor’s story.

To determine which defenses are applicable to your case, contact a Tallahassee defense attorney as soon as possible.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

When it comes to violent crimes, the State is not afraid to prosecute harshly. Those who are convicted of a battery offense may face expensive fines, probation, imprisonment, or all the above. Carrying a violent criminal conviction on your permanent record can cause difficulties in finding a place to live or work. If you are facing criminal charges, contact an attorney to speak about your options.

At Pumphrey Law Firm, Don Pumphrey and his team have worked with clients across the Sunshine State. Our firm understands the nuances of Florida law and will do everything we can to lessen or dismiss the charges against you. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 or leave us a message for a free consultation regarding your case.

Written by Karissa Key

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