FORT MYERS (WWSB) - A Florida man is under arrest, charged with second degree murder after he allegedly beat his father to death while out at sea.
Prosecutors say on Monday, around 7:45am, a distress call from a commercial fishing vessel called “No Bitchin” requested help for an unconscious man on board with head injuries. The Coast Guard aircrew was told it may be related to a “domestic dispute” as they headed out into the Gulf of Mexico, around 66 miles west of Marco Island.
When a Coast Guard rescue swimmer got on the ship, he found the victim was dead. The Coast Guard placed a law enforcement team aboard and escorted the ship to the Coast Guard station at Fort Myers Beach.
Investigators spoke with the rescue swimmer, who told them that when he first got on board, he asked the ship's Captain, Yamer Perez, and 32-year-old Casey Hickok of Copeland what happened and Hickok said spontaneously, "He tried to rape me." The technician said the victim had extensive face and head injuries from what appeared to be blunt force trauama.
The technician said Hickok also said that the victim, his father, had raped him several times when Hickok was a child and that the victim had started "messing with [him]" prior to the incident that resulted in the victim's death.
Investigators then spoke with the captain. Perez told them that he was working on some repairs with Hickok while the victim was asleep. At one point, Hickok took a spare alternator and walked to the front of the ship. That's when Perez said he heard the alternator being slammed down by the victim and looked up to see Hickok slam the alternator into the victim's head twice.
Perez told investigators he also saw Hickok leave the front berth area with a hammer and Perez believes Hickok used it on the victim. Perez said he tried to help the victim, but the victim's skull appeared to be crushed.
Perez says Hickok told him that the victim had raped him and that Hickok threw the alternator out the window, where it landed in the water. Perez immediately called the Coast Guard but says he was afraid to provide specifics because Hickok might have overheard.
Hickok made no statements to investigators, but based on the evidence, was arrested and charged with second degree murder.
The criminal complaint does not identify the victim, but notes that the victim is Hickok's father. News outlets in Fort Myers report the victim is 74-year-old Robert Hickok.
Hickok has past arrests for domestic violence, battery and aggravated assault. He was most recently released from prison on March 1 for drug possession.