If there’s an alleged assault and it’s Florida, you can safely bet a machete was involved.
One was, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says, when two men got into it Thursday in the Middle Keys over an unplugged power cord. Joshua Lee Meadows, 33, of Marathon, a tire repairman, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
According to the arrest report, Deputy Michelle Swilley responded to a call on 82nd Street about 3:15 p.m.; the caller said two men were fighting. A second call then came in from a man who said he was attacked by another man with a machete.
When Swilley arrived, the victim, Charles Antrobus, 49, told her that he and Meadows were supposed to be working on a roof but got into a disagreement “about the victim unplugging the power to the suspect’s tent,” where he was staying with his girlfriend. Antrobus reportedly told Meadows not to plug the cord back in and that’s when, Antrobus said, Meadows “picked up a machete, approached [him] and swung the machete” at him.
Antrobus told Swilley he ducked and threw his arm up, where the machete hit him, causing “a series of cuts.” Antrobus said Meadows then started hitting him.
“The victim’s defensive actions and statement demonstrate that he had a well-founded fear that the suspect intended to do him harm,” Swilley wrote in her report.
A nearby witness told Swilley she saw Meadows swing the machete at Antrobus, Swilley wrote.
But Meadows told her Antrobus first approached him, “causing him to push [Antrobus] backwards.” He told her Antrobus fell a few times “but kept coming at him.” He said there were no weapons involved and denied having a machete.
Then Meadows’ girlfriend told Swilley it was Antrobus who had a machete while walking down the street, upset his girlfriend broke up with him. She said Antrobus swung the machete at Meadows, who was able to disarm Antrobus and held onto the machete.
The police didn’t buy it and arrested Meadows. No machete was found, Swilley wrote.
Meadows remained in the Monroe County Detention Center Friday with no bond allowed.