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Ocala man arrested after fight with fellow patient at The Centers

Harvey M. Dudley

A 52-year-old patient at The Centers mental health hospital was arrested Tuesday for allegedly striking another patient with a metal faucet handle wrapped in a towel.

Harvey M. Dudley, of 6701 NW 57th Avenue in Ocala, was charged with simple battery after the incident. An employee of the hospital, located at 5664 SW 60th Ave., told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy she saw Dudley pacing back and forth in the common area of Building 4. She said Dudley was holding a silver metal object, which he wrapped in a white towel, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The witness said Dudley swung the towel containing the silver metal object at the victim, striking him in an unknown area. The witness said Dudley was discharged about 15 minutes before the deputy arrived, the report said.

Another employee who witnessed the incident said Dudley placed a silver metal faucet handle into a white towel and swung it at the victim. She said Dudley struck the victim on is back and abdomen, according to the report.

The victim told the deputy that the argument started when he couldn’t find his lunch. He said he approached Dudley and asked if he had his lunch and Dudley said no, so he walked away. The victim said Dudley then threw a mattress at him. He said Dudley placed a metal object in a towel and swung it at him, striking him numerous times. The deputy observed bruising and red discoloration on the right side of the victim’s abdomen, the report said.

After being read his Miranda rights, Dudley denied striking the victim at any time and denied having a metal object wrapped in a towel. During the interview, Dudley removed a small white towel from his right sock. A pat-down turned up a metal faucet handle from Dudley’s back-left pocket, according to the report.

Dudley was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he’s being held on $1,000 bond. He’s due to appear in Marion County Court on March 18.

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