Worker on Florida Wal-Mart site 'buried boss in dirt then knocked him unconscious with a six-foot metal level before laughing over his prone body'

June 3, 2016 2:36 PM

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A Florida construction worker became so angry with his boss Wednesday that he buried him up to the waist in dirt and beat him unconscious with a six-foot level, witnesses claim.

Police say Erick A. Cox - who goes by the nickname 'Pork Chop' - used a front-end loader to bury his boss, Perry A. Byrd, 57, of Orlando at the construction site they were working on near DeBary.

The 32-year-old worker then allegedly hit Byrd with a six-foot aluminium level, knocking him out, WESH 2 reported.

The pair had been arguing at about 7:20am at a construction site for a new Wal-Mart when Cox used a front-end loader to dumped dirt onto Byrd, pinning him to the ground, witnesses told police.

Byrd, unable to free himself, could only watch as Cox then got another load of dirt and dropped it onto his body, burying him up to his waist.

That witness said the dirt was followed up by repeated attacks with the level, leaving Byrd unconscious and with a four-inch gash in his head, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The police report said that Cox was 'standing over Byrd cussing and laughing about the situation' after the attack, and only then did a group of men dig Byrd out.

Byrd was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured skull and bleeding in his brain, WFTV reported.

In his defense, Cox claimed that Byrd had been argumentative and foul-mouthed from the moment he arrived at work at 6:30am, and that Byrd had threatened to beat him up, then spat and swung a fist at him.

The worker said he was trying to leave when Byrd threatened to 'cut his head off' and reached into his pocket.

Cox says he hit Byrd in self-defense, and that the second load of dirt was an accident, according to WESH.

Cox claimed that he dumped the dirt accidentally when he bumped the control leaver reaching for the keys to the vehicle, according to the police report.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery, but released on $5,000 bail.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement his criminal record stretches back to 2003 and includes aggravated battery, domestic violence and battery convictions.

He is no longer employed on the site, according to JEL Site Development.


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