PALMETTO, Fla. -- A shocked and confused Jeffrey Blake was left wondering Thursday morning why a naked Charles Baker, the father of his step-grandchildren, reportedly attacked and bit him hours earlier.
Blake's friends and family, including his mother, were besieged by media who descended on the Palmetto home, all hoping to get a glimpse of the bite mark and a better understanding of the incident. The initial sheriff's report described the bite as "taking a chunk of meat" from the victim's arm -- leading some broadcast reports to liken the attack to the savage "zombie" attack on a homeless man last month in Miami.
The sheriff's department later reported that Blake lost only a small chunk of skin.
Baker, 26, is being held without bond on charges of aggravated assault and resisting a police officer. The incident unfolded late Wednesday when Baker went to visit his three children, who live in the 100 block of 25th Street West with their grandparents.
Blake said he was sitting on his front porch about 10:15 p.m. when he heard a loud noise "like someone turned something over." When he went inside, he found a naked Baker yelling and turning over furniture.
"I charged him and grabbed him, not to fight," Blake said. And that's when Baker allegedly bit him.
"I don't know what was in his body, but it was powerful," Blake said. "He's always up and down, but I've never seen him like this. To me, it was wild."
Traces of marijuana and opiates were found in Baker's system, according to Dave Bristow, sheriff's office spokesman.
"We don't know what else he could have ingested that may have caused him to do what he did," Bristow said. "Opiates and marijuana don't usually trigger that type of behavior."
Blake managed to pin Baker down until deputies arrived, Bristow said. Deputies used a Taser at least four times to subdue the suspect, Bristow said.
"Any time you have to use a Taser more than once, you know that the person is probably under the influence of something," Bristow said. "Normally you tase somebody and that's it. You get automatic compliance."
Baker faced the deputies, tensing his body, clenching his fists and screaming. Baker, still naked, acted like he was going to rush the deputies, according to the sheriff's office.
One deputy warned Baker and then used his Taser. Baker fell to the ground, tried to get back up, and was hit a second time with the Taser. Baker pulled the probes out, and a second deputy used his Taser. Those probes were also pulled out, and a second cartridge was used, the sheriff's report said.
By this time, several other deputies had arrived and were able to hold Baker down and handcuff him.
Blake's left bicep was swollen and bruised Thursday with signs of teeth marks. Blake did not seek medical treatment Wednesday night for the bite, but did get a tetanus shot Thursday.
"I didn't know it until after the fight," Blake said. "All I'm thinking about was my family."
Blake said he can't understand why Baker would act like that in front of his children, all younger than 10.
"He needs some help, whatever his problem is," Blake said. "My granddaughter is really shook up about it."
Blake's mother, Linda Brooks, arrived Thursday morning to see her son.
"I can't say I hate him, but I'm not happy with what he did to my son," she said of Baker.
Shadaryl Washington, Baker's stepsister, said she was shocked when she heard the news.
"It's not him. It's hard for anyone to hear something like that," Washington said. "I was speechless, surprised. I was like, 'You're talking about my brother?'"
Washington said the two families, who live just houses apart, are close to one another.
"No matter our differences, there are children involved. My children go there, they come here. We try to raise them together," Washington said.
Washington said she thought Baker was working to gain custody of his children.
"He loves his kids," she said. "That's his world."
Washington said the family plans to support Baker.
"He knows we all love him and we'll stand behind him 100 percent," Washington said. "If he's hurting, we're hurting. We're all going to get through this together."
Baker has a criminal history. He has been in and out of Manatee County jail on various drug and assault charges. He was incarcerated in state prison from Dec. 5, 2007 to April 30, 2008 and March 24, 2010 to Sept. 24, 2011 on convictions related to selling cocaine, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
Baker's father, also named Charles Baker, allegedly killed himself March 8 at Skyway Memorial Cemetery after police say he shot Kevin Parillo to death in Rubonia.
Copyright 2012 - The Bradenton Herald, Fla.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service