The defensive coordinator for a visiting Arena Football League team was arrested on a felony battery charge in Duval County for his role in a fight that left a 68-year-old Jacksonville Sharks team official in the hospital. Cedric Walker, listed at 6-foot and 245 pounds, is accused of pushing Jacksonville’s assistant general manager in a fight that began near the visiting locker room following a May game, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The Sharks official was apparently confronting some of the Sharks’ cheerleaders about why they were still on the field when coaches from the opposing San Jose SaberCats stepped in and the argument took off, the newspaper reported. Walker is accused of pushing the Sharks official, who had gall bladder surgery a week earlier, into a wall twice, the newspaper reported. The Sharks official was taken to a local hospital and was treated for a concussion.
The fight escalated from there and a Sharks trainer also suffered a broken nose when trying to break up the fight, though there were no other charges filed, the newspaper reported. Police found Walker in the parking lot following the fight and arrested him. He was released from jail the next day and is scheduled to appear in court again in June. In most instances, Walker would face a Jacksonville misdemeanor battery charge and a maximum penalty of a year in the county jail. But in this case, he is looking at a third-degree felony and up to five years in state prison. The difference in this Jacksonville Battery Case? The Sharks team official is 68 years old and police arrested Walker for battery on a person age 65 or older.
All types of assaults and batteries have significantly upgraded penalties when the victim is over the age of 65. The charge can apply regardless of whether or not the suspect knows the age of the victim, the defense of thinking the man was younger is off the table in this Jacksonville Battery Case. The law justifiably attempts to protect senior citizens, the same way it does children with enhanced penalties and a whole separate set of law involving Jacksonville Child Abuse and Child Neglect. In this Jacksonville Battery Case, though, it does not appear that Walker was preying on the Sharks official just because he was older. There was a verbal confrontation, things got heated and it escalated from there. Walker will be arraigned at his court appearance June 11 and it will be interesting to see if he is actually charged with the felony, or if the charge is reduced to a misdemeanor battery or even dropped. Much of the state’s decision in Jacksonville Battery Cases centers around the wishes of the victim. Prosecutors prefer to have the victim on board with any charging decision, though it is not always possible. If this case does end up being a felony, expect to see plenty more detail on the Sharks’ official’s role in starting the altercation. It’s difficult to make the case that the official is an innocent elder being pushed around if he is, in fact, part of the reason this Jacksonville Battery Case escalated in the first place.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Duval County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Battery Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.