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Man attacked with a machete could lose three fingers, Largo police say

LARGO — A 28-year-old man is accused of nearly severing three fingers from a family member's hand after an argument Tuesday evening.

Largo police arrested Prince Keith Newton of 5808 157th Ave. N No. 1 on Wednesday and charged him with aggravated battery with great bodily harm.

Police also arrested another man, who they said helped hide Newton's bloody clothes and assisted Newton in leaving the area before authorities arrived. Gregory Alton Perry, 39, was charged with tampering with physical evidence.

The arrest report said Newton went to the Farrington Apartments at 2738 Roosevelt Blvd. around 6:50 p.m. Tuesday to confront his cousin, Paul Bembry.

Newton got out of a vehicle with a machete and attacked Bembry, police said.

Bembry struggled with Newton to get the machete away from him, but was struck in the hand, the report said. Bembry suffered a "very significant injury" to his left hand, police said.

He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where doctors told police he might need to have three fingers amputated, the report said.

Police said Newton then went to Perry's apartment, which is in the Farrington complex, and changed clothes. Perry then helped Newton flee the apartment complex before police got there, according to Perry's arrest report. Witnesses said they saw Perry throw away a bag of garbage, which police found. In it were Newton's bloody clothes, police said.

It was unclear Thursday how Newton and Perry know each other or what Newton and Bembry were arguing about.

Newton does not have a criminal record in Pinellas County, according to court records, but police noted on his arrest report that he has an "extensive" criminal history in his native New York.

Thursday afternoon, Newton was not yet in the Pinellas County Jail, but his bail was listed at $20,000. Perry was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Man attacked with a machete could lose three fingers, Largo police say 07/14/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:35pm]

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