PALMETTO, Fla. - When Jeffrey Blake woke up in his Palmetto home Thursday morning, he had no idea the bizarre scuffle with his son-in-law the night before would thrust him into worldwide headlines about another "zombie" attack.
"It didn't occur to me, to tell you the truth," Blake said. The 48-year old was attacked and was bitten on the arm by the man who had stripped naked. When the Manatee County Sheriff's Office described the bite as a "chunk of meat" out of Blake's arm, the story quickly appeared throughout the internet.
In reality, Blake ended up with a bruised bicep with a minor puncture wound.
Still, the incident has similarities to the world-famous assault in Miami in which a man chewed off the face of a homeless man along a busy highway. Blake described 25-year old Charles Baker as "wild," throwing furniture and tearing off his clothes.
"I don't know what was in his body but whatever it was, it was mighty powerful," Blake said.
Baker came to Blake's house on the 100 block of 25th Street West in Palmetto to visit his three children. Baker's two sons, 8 and 4, and his daughter, 6, are in Blake's custody while their mother is in jail. But the routine visit turned violent, according to sheriff's deputies.
Soon after Baker was allowed inside the home at 10:15 p.m., he went on a drug-induced rampage, according to investigators. Deputies said they found traces of marijuana and opiates in his bloodstream.
What likely helped spawn the "zombie" comparisons, however, was the fact that the naked Baker was biting his victim, and seemed to be immune to the stun guns of sheriff's deputies.
Blake said he was able to forcibly hold Baker to the floor while he waited for law enforcement to arrive. Two deputies fired stun guns at Baker, but he ripped off the wires and tried to get back up. But deputies didn't let up.
"All I heard was 'Hit him again' with the taser," Blake said. "Hit him again. Completely hit him again. Five, six, seven times they hit him," he said. Blake was amazed a person could resist so much electricity.
Baker was eventually handcuffed and arrested. He was charged with aggravated battery and taken to the Manatee County Jail.
The attack happened as two of Baker's children were awake and watching. The two youngest kids were in the hallway and happened to witness the entire fight.
"Taking clothes off in front of your six year old child?" Blake asked Baker during the tussle. "I feel bad for him. I don't know what he's going through," Blake said.
The great-grandmother of the three kids was also appalled. Lynda Brooks said she thought Baker might have been upset over the recent suicide of his father, but that didn't excuse his behavior. "I don't like what he did at all," Brooks said.
Blake said he plans to make sure his grandchildren are kept away from their father, but he hopes Baker gets some kind of mental help.
"It's something I never want to see again, that's for sure."
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