PORT RICHEY — Jeffrey Crouch, a 55-year-old best known in relation to two unsolved murders, has been accused in an attack Sunday that cracked the victim's nose and knocked out two front teeth.
In 1987, the body of Crouch's wife, Jean, was found on Green Key Beach. She was strangled.
Crouch was charged with her murder but a judge tossed his alleged confession because he had been denied the right to make a phone call.
In 1998, Crouch and his then-girlfriend, Anna May Becker, were named as suspects in the death of his infant son, Travis. The baby died of a blow to the head and they were the only adults home at the time. Police say Crouch remains a suspect.
Over the years, Crouch has faced other charges, including shoplifting, driving a boat while drunk and battery. He has never served prison time, only stints in jail.
"I'm getting kind of used to it," Crouch told the Times in December 2009, after he was accused of beating up a homeless man who came to his Port Richey home to deliver a Christmas card and retrieve some belongings.
Authorities said Crouch pummeled and kicked the man in the face, breaking his nose, injuring his back and sending him to the hospital.
Crouch said then he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors dropped that battery charge a few months later.
The latest incident happened Sunday, also at Crouch's home at 5701 Regis Ave., where he "became angry for no apparent reason" and punched a man in the head, a Port Richey police report said. The man tried to run from Crouch and was attacked by someone else, the report said. He tried to escape the second person when Crouch hit him again — this time with a pipe, police said.
Crouch was arrested Tuesday on a charge of aggravated battery. He was being held in lieu of $10,000 at the Land O'Lakes Jail.