An 81-year-old Ocala man was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office after he was accused of striking a man in the face with a garden hoe at the Florida Highlands Recycling Center.
On Wednesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Florida Highlands Recycling Center (8390 SW 150th Street in Dunnellon) in reference to an aggravated battery incident. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with the male victim who advised that a customer, later identified as Ramon Emilio Uceta, had attacked him with a garden hoe.
According to the victim, he was watching Uceta throw away garbage and noticed that metal items were being placed into the normal household trash compactor. When the victim informed Uceta that those metal items were not allowed inside the compactor, an argument ensued.
The victim advised that he began to remove the metal items that had been placed inside the compactor when Uceta allegedly grabbed a nearby garden hoe and struck the victim in the face. After being hit, the victim stated that he grabbed onto the garden hoe and attempted to take it away from Uceta.
After speaking with the victim, the deputy located Uceta at the recycling center and asked him about the incident. Uceta advised that the victim was “very rude” and had told him that he was unable to throw certain items into the trash compactor.
Uceta stated that the garden hoe had been next to him and the victim, and he believed that the victim was going to strike him with it. They both grabbed the garden hoe, a struggle ensued, and the victim “hit himself in the face” with it, according to Uceta.
The deputy approached a male witness who advised that he saw the incident. The witness stated that Uceta had informed the victim that he was unable to throw certain items into the trash compactor.
The witness stated that Uceta began arguing with the victim while the victim was removing certain items from the compactor. According to the witness, Uceta looked “scared,” and he allegedly grabbed the garden hoe and struck the victim’s face with it. The witness then told the deputy that the victim attempted to take the garden hoe from Uceta.
The deputy noted in the MCSO report that the victim had a cut with fresh blood on the left side of his face. The victim advised that he did not need any medical attention for his injury.
Uceta was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was later released on $10,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, December 13 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.