Punta Gorda man hit in head 3 times with baseball bat

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PUNTA GORDA, FL. - Detectives have arrested a Punta Gorda man after he hit a man in the head with a baseball bat 3 times.

37-year-old Joshua William Matzen is charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Violation of Probation (VOP).

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office received a call at 12:29 a.m. on Saturday in reference a 22-year-old man beaten with a baseball bat in the area of Clara Drive and Acorn Boulevard in the Charlotte Ranchettes subdivision. The caller said there was a party in the area and the victim was face down on the ground.

Three witnesses said the suspect left in a white Chevrolet pickup and identified the driver as Matzen. Before deputies arrived, the victim was transported to Charlotte Regional Medical Center by a friend in his personal vehicle.

The victim was treated for three skull fractures to the head and received 30 stitches and staples for two open fractures; he was then transported to Lee Memorial Hospital Trauma Center due to bleeding and swelling to the brain.

Deputies located the pickup at Bermont Road and Sunset Boulevard and made a traffic stop. The driver, Matzen, had two passengers with him; the passengers were later released after questioning. Matzen said he did not hit the victim. He first said he tossed the bat out the window of his pickup, and then later said he never touched the bat.

Matzen was transported to the Charlotte County Jail where he remains on no bond for the Violation of Probation, and $30,000 bond on the Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon charge. Matzen is a convicted felon with 12 bookings.