MANATEE -- When Michael J. Roberts, 35, was booked into the Manatee County jail at 3:50 p.m. Friday, the gauze over his right eyebrow was proof he had been through something rather intense.
A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report said a hammer fight at a pink duplex in the 1000 block of 30th Avenue East left four people with non-life-threatening head injuries, including Roberts.
The incident began at 9:30 a.m. Friday when two males, including Roberts and a man only known as “Stan,” drove to the pink duplex to sell a PlayStation, said sheriff’s spokesman Randy Warren.
“The two males knew the people in the duplex, who were comprised of young males in their 20s,” Warren added.
Once at the duplex, a disagreement occurred and the hammer, which was either in the duplex or brought in by Roberts or “Stan,” became the central figure, he said.
During the hammer fight that ensued, Warren said Roberts struck several of the victims with the hammer before he was neutralized.
“The victims fought back and tackled Roberts and detained him until we could get there,” Warren added.
“Stan” then acquired the hammer and also battered the victims before fleeing in Roberts’ gray Nissan pickup, according to a sheriff’s office report.
“Stan,” who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds, is still at large, Warren added.
“A lot of times we are not real sure what goes into a relationship between people,” Warren said when asked for a possible motive for the fight.
“There’s the chance this was drug-related. So many times that is part of it when items of value are being bought and sold. We really don’t know yet.”
The three victims and Roberts were all transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital.
Roberts was immediately booked into jail after getting treated for his wounds, Warren said.
“We usually don’t have things like this first thing in the morning,” said Deputy Stan Schaeffer, one of a group of sheriff’s office personnel who raced to the scene after a dispatch call about people being struck with a hammer.