Crime

Big Pine man severely beaten in Key West

A Big Pine Key man who suffered head injuries was airlifted to Miami after he was assaulted in Key West early Sunday, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office says. There were no arrests in the case of Tuesday.

Kevin Stewart, 26, a bartender at Island House, was headed back to his car in a parking lot on Babcock Lane about 4 a.m. when someone jumped him and began beating him, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin. Babcock Lane is off Fleming Street between Duval and Whitehead.

A friend of Stewart, Matthew Thomas, 23, also of Big Pine, said he came upon the scene to find Stewart on the ground "being straddled by an unknown white male who was repeatedly punching Kevin in the face," reported Deputy Tyler Blanton.

Thomas tried to break up the fight but when he approached, a second suspect grabbed him by the neck and punched him, deputies said.

The injured men were driving home to Big Pine Key when they decided to go to Fishermen's Community Hospital in Marathon for treatment. From there he was flown to a Miami trauma center.

Stewart said the suspect who jumped him is named Ryan, a 5-foot-7-inch white man possibly in his 20s with curly brown hair and weighing about 120 to 130 pounds, deputies said. He was wearing a white tank top and blue jeans. The second suspect is a 5-foot-7-inch white man in his mid-20s with a crew cut who weighs 160 pounds, Herrin said. 

At the hospital, deputies tried to interview Stewart, whose face, hands and chest were covered by dry blood.

"Kevin was having trouble speaking and providing much information," according to reports.

Deputies notified the Key West Police Department of the assault.

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