Sheriff: Paralyzed Palmetto man threatened with machete

Herald staff reportJune 18, 2013 

— A 57-year-old Palmetto man was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he threatened a neighbor who is paralyzed and in a wheelchair, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Craig Eliot Caldwell, who lives in the 2000 block of Seventh Avenue West, Palmetto, allegedly placed a machete against the victim’s neck at 11 p.m. Sunday and said, “I should take your head off,” according to a report.

The victim, who lives on the same street as Caldwell, was left with an abrasion with some bruising to his left arm as a result of the altercation, which included being punched and kicked, according to the report.

Authorities believe the incident began when the victim hired someone to clean his car and the hired help found a set of car keys belonging to Caldwell.

The victim contacted Caldwell and was told the keys were lost about a month ago and he already had changed the locks.

The victim reportedly returned the keys anyway and Caldwell allegedly accused him of stealing them and starting punching him in the face. The wheelchair-bound victim, who has use of his left hand, partial use of his right and no use of his legs, had difficulty warding off the blows, according to the report.

The victim reported he kept pleading with Caldwell to tell him what was the matter and to think about what he was doing.

Caldwell reportedly grabbed the machete and held the victim while placing the blade to the back of the victim’s neck.

Caldwell posted a $1,500 bond and was released from the Manatee County jail Tuesday.

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