crime

DECATUR — A Decatur driver had to defend himself after a stranger wearing a surgical mask climbed into his car and punched him twice in the head, police said.

A sworn affidavit said the 58-year-old victim suffered a bleeding, swollen nose and swelling near his left eye in the attack, which happened around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in a downtown parking lot near the 100 block of West Prairie Avenue.

His 32-year-old assailant appeared to be high on narcotics, according to Decatur police officer Christopher Skalon. Police reports on the incident were incomplete Thursday and it’s not known if the suspect tested positive for illegal drugs.

Skalon said what the suspect told officers made no sense. “(He) stated that he was under the influence of corn syrup, and had ingested too much sugar, referring to his condition as ‘Caffeine-itus,’” Skalon added.

Skalon said the victim earlier told officers he had been getting ready to drive off when he suddenly heard a rear door open and a man “wearing a Chicago Cubs hat and a surgical mask over his face” got in.

The driver immediately jumped out and asked the suspect what he wanted. “(The suspect) stated ‘I thought you wanted me in the car’... and then punched him in the face two times…” said Skalon

The driver fought back by kicking the suspect in the crotch, and his attacker ran off but only got as far as the 200 block of West Main Street before police intercepted him.

The suspect was booked on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery and remained held in the Macon County Jail on Thursday night in lieu of posting $40,000 bail. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney’s office. He is due to be arraigned Dec. 28.

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Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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