A Pensacola man is accused of using a machete to slash a fellow fisherman at Wayside Park, leaving five serious cuts that required medical staples and stitches.
John Henry Oliver, 57, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated battery. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail with a $100,000 bond and remained in custody as of Wednesday.
A severely bleeding man was admitted to Baptist Hospital on July 23 and treated by hospital staff. He initially told police he did not want to press charges against his attacker but later changed his mind and contacted Pensacola police on July 29.
He explained that on the night he was attacked, he was fishing with three other men, including Oliver, at Wayside Park. The men were also drinking as they were fishing, according to an arrest report.
The man recalled Oliver “got in his face and was spitting all over him,” the report stated. The man told Oliver to back up, and eventually Oliver walked away.
However, Oliver returned a short time later armed with a machete, and “without warning” he raised the blade and began swinging it down at the man’s body, the report stated.
The man blocked Oliver’s first swing with his arm, which was badly cut by the blow. The man attempted to get his own knife, but before he could do so, he was hit again by the machete — this time on the top of his head.
The man told police he did not know why Oliver attacked him. He said he was sure that he had been hit five times by the machete.
The man said he tried to fight off Oliver but had been bleeding too much to effectively defend himself and ended up falling and hitting his head on the ground, the report stated.
After the attack, Oliver walked away from Wayside Park.
Cuts on the attacked man’s face, bottom lip, left shoulder and two gashes on his left arm required stitches, and a blade wound on the top of his head was treated with medical staples at Baptist Hospital.
Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8680.