Sunday, June 17, 2018
News Roundup

Baseball bat beating sends man to prison

DADE CITY — A Hillsborough County man who showed up to a brawl with a baseball bat and pummeled two bystanders has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.

Dong Hoon Chung, 20, known to friends as Eric, pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated battery last week. The fight happened two years ago at a vacant lot behind the Land O'Lakes Library. A Pasco County Sheriff's Office report said Chung attacked Matthew Perez, then 16, and Tiffany Kephart. 19. The assailant kicked Perez in the face "multiple times."

The blows crushed Perez's orbital bone and broke his cheekbone. The report says Chung attacked Kephart with a bat, hitting her in the head and left forearm. The attack broke her arm in four places and caused a possible fracture to her left cheek.

Both victims identified Chung in photo lineups during separate interviews, the report said.

Perez, then a Sunlake High School junior, told the Tampa Bay Times that two middle-school girls had feuded that day through text messages and decided to meet behind the library to settle their differences. He and Kephart accompanied one of the girls, a 13-year-old he described as being "like a little sister," to make sure nothing got out of hand, despite warnings from his mother and grandmother not to go.

But the other girl brought a group of young men. One of them brought a bat.

Perez, who risked losing his sight in the left eye as a result of the incident, required surgery.

Surgeons replaced part of the broken cheekbone with titanium.

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