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Why We Carry: Man Dies After Being Attacked By Co-Worker With Metal Bat

LAKE MARY, FLORIDA — A man has been charged in the metal bat attack that led to the death of his co-worker. Steve Tilbury, 26, of Leesburg, was charged with second-degree murder after 50-year-old Charles G. Cummings, of Deltona, who died from injuries sustained in the November 23rd attack. The incident occurred at Ritchey Autos, located at 932 North Nova Road.

Daytona Police spokesman Messod Bendayan said, “Officers responded to the automobile dealership soon after Volusia County emergency dispatchers received a call for assistance at 8:43 that morning, finding the suspect and victim at the scene. Tilbury was taken into custody at that time on two felony counts of aggravated battery.

Bendayan added, “Witnesses told DBPD that Tilbury pulled up to a maintenance bay in his silver Chevy truck, grabbed a metal bat from the rear of the truck and hit Cummings on the head with the bat while he was sitting at a desk. Fellow co-workers then subdued Tilbury and stripped him of the metal bat prior to first responders arriving on scene.”

Detectives think the attack stemmed from an argument between the two men the night before the incident occurred. Tilbury was taken into custody on the scene and has been held at the Volusia County Jail since his initial arrest on a charge of aggravated battery, which was upgraded to second-degree murder following Cummings death at Halifax Health Medical Center on December 1st.

Based on witness statements, it appears that the victim was unaware of the threat and unable to escape or defend himself as he sat doing paperwork at his desk. This is just another reminder that it only takes one second and one swing of a bat to suffer a deadly injury. While a defensive firearm would have likely stopped the aggressor before the attack, situational awareness is the first step in recognizing the threat, while the importance of training and gear that allows an instant response cannot be understated.

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