DECATUR — The Decatur man accused of climbing into a stranger’s car while wearing a Chicago Cubs hat and a surgical mask and then punching the driver in the head will be examined by a doctor to see if he is fit to stand trial.
Tyler J. Kirkwood, 32, appeared in custody in Macon County Circuit Court on Wednesday where his defense attorney, David Ellison, made a motion for the mental health examination. Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott raised no objection.
Judge Phoebe Bowers granted the motion and scheduled a status hearing for Jan. 24 to allow time for a doctor to examine Kirkwood and make a report.
Kirkwood has yet to enter a plea to a charge of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years in prison if convicted. A sworn police affidavit said that on the night of Dec. 20 he suddenly climbed into the backseat of a 58-year-old man’s car as he was getting ready to drive away from a downtown Decatur parking lot.
The driver immediately jumped out of his car, followed by Kirkwood, and when the driver asked him what he wanted. “... Tyler stated, ‘I thought you wanted me in the car’... and then punched him in the face two times,” the affidavit said.
The driver, bleeding from the nose, fought back by kicking Kirkwood in the crotch, and said his assailant took off running. Police arrested Kirkwood a short time later, and patrol officers said he was talking nonsense, claiming to be suffering from “caffeine-itus.”