Saturday, September 17, 2016

Elderly man faces battery charge following shuffleboard dispute

A dispute on a Florida shuffleboard court turned violent on Wednesday afternoon when an 81-year-old man allegedly punched a fellow pensioner and struck him with his shuffleboard cue, according to court records.

The confrontation occurred at the Pinellas Park Senior Center, which includes an open-air pavilion with 16 shuffleboard courts. Police say that octogenarian Herbert Hayden “had a verbal argument that escalated into a physical altercation.” Hayden allegedly punched the victim, James Sutton, in the face and “hit him with his shuffleboard cue causing damage to both cues.”

Sutton, officers noted, sustained a pair of four-inch scratches “on the right cheek of his face.” Sutton’s age is not included in court filings. Hayden was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge and booked into the county jail, where he is being held on $250 bond. A judge has issued an order barring Hayden, who lives in a St. Petersburg mobile home park, from having any contact with Sutton.

A criminal complaint does not indicate what prompted the reported argument between Hayden and Sutton. The confrontation came at the close of the senior center’s Black and White Shuffleboard League, which competes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. “Shuffleboard is a popular sport for the ‘Seniors’ in Pinellas Park,” according to the senior center’s web site.

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