Two Missouri men were arrested Tuesday on felony aggravated battery charges in connection with an Aug. 21 Duval Street beating that left a local homeless man unable to breathe on his own.
Phillip Compton, 25, was jailed in Monroe County, while his friend Timothy Godfrey, 32, was booked in Jefferson County, Mo.
"Godfrey admitted he hit the victim until he stopped moving," states a police report released Thursday, but he could not tell police how many times he hit Fleming because he had "blacked out with rage."
Hours after the predawn incident, both Godfrey and Compton told police they had clashed with two "drunk guys" who were blocking their way in the 400 block of Duval Street as they drove on rented yellow scooters, the report said. An arrest warrant for each was signed Aug. 23. Compton turned himself in on Tuesday.
Within hours after the fight, Godfrey greeted police officers at his vacation spot, La Brisa Condominiums, by saying, "I know I beat the s--t out of somebody," the report said.
Kenneth Fleming, 47, was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, where he was treated for multiple broken facial bones, two black and swollen eyes and a tooth in his lung. Police found him lying on blood-stained ground, unconscious and barely breathing. He has since been released. The next day, Fleming told a state agent that he couldn't remember anything about the fight.
Godfrey said two men, Myron Makris and Fleming, started the fight by shouting obscenities as he and Compton rode by. He also told police that he allowed Fleming to throw the first punch, which missed, before firing back at his head.
Fleming's hands were uninjured, police noted.
The fight lasted about 45 seconds, said Godfrey, who denied that Compton hit anyone and said that Makris was the instigator of the incident.
"Godfrey said he punched Fleming until the problem was over," police reported. He also allegedly let police know he was "a fighter."
Several witnesses told police they saw two men punching and kicking the head of the victim, who was motionless on the ground outside La Concha Hotel, 430 Duval St.
Key West police found the two suspects through interviews with employees at the scooter rental business, where one scooter reportedly had reddish blood stains on the right grip handle. Godfrey had a bandage around one hand, while Compton was limping after they returned the scooters about 9:30 a.m. Aug. 21.
Compton said he was riding the scooter when "two drunk guys were in the street and would not move," police reported. Makris was yelling at him and wouldn't move when Compton beeped the scooter's horn, according to the report.
Compton reportedly fell off his scooter when he stopped, injuring his ankle. Godfrey, however, told police he believed that either Makris or Fleming had knocked his friend off the scooter.
Another witness told police he saw one man hitting the person on the ground, and counted seven punches while the victim lay still. A second man, the witness said, got on a scooter and yelled to the puncher to, "Come on, come on."
Makris told police he shouted, "Slow down, a--holes," at two scooter riders because they were speeding on Duval. The two men made a U-turn, drove back, and parked their bikes before both began pummeling Fleming, even as he was on the ground, Makris said.
Makris said he ran off to call for help.