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January 13, 2004

Deaf-Mute man severely beaten in Jupiter

From: Palm Beach Post, FL - Jan 13, 2004

Palm Beach Post Staff Reports

JUPITER — A deaf-mute laborer who lived in his Jeep was in critical but stable condition Tuesday at St. Mary's Medical Center after being found severely beaten in the parking lot of Uncle Mick's bar at 6671 Indiantown Road.

Walter Basham, 55, was naked when found at 12:54 a.m., but police didn't release information on that or the motive.

Darrel Blackman, 27, of Altamonte Springs, was charged with aggravated battery and grand theft for allegedly taking Basham's Jeep, which was found in Tequesta.

He was arrested at the Fairfield Inn on Indiantown Road, and confessed to the beating, police Sgt. Scott Pascarella said.

Geoffrey Simmons, 20, of Casselberry, who was staying at the same hotel while both men worked on a construction project, is being sought for questioning in the case, Pascarella said.

Basham was a regular patron at Uncle Mick's, a popular neighborhood tavern and restaurant, employee Linda Murphy said Tuesday afternoon. ''He never bothered anyone,'' Murphy said. ''He came in here for the company, to play pool and do crossword puzzles. He used to be in every day to drink coffee and have lunch. He never drank.''

Staff researcher Sammy Alzofon contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2004, The Palm Beach Post. All rights reserved.