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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Trespassed Umatilla man accused of punching hospital employee

Jason Dean Smith
Jason Dean Smith

A 52-year-old Umatilla man with a violent history was arrested after he allegedly punched a UF Health-Leesburg Hospital employee over being trespassed from the hospital Saturday night.

Jason Dean Smith was charged with simple battery (five prior convictions) after the incident, which happened around 10 p.m. behind the UF Health financial building at 714 Pine St. Smith’s criminal history includes simple battery convictions in January 1991 and February 1992, convictions for battery on a probation officer and a law enforcement officer in August 1992, and a felony battery conviction in 2007.

The victim told a Leesburg police officer he and a female coworker were sitting outside the building while on break when Smith approached them. He said Smith started yelling profanities at the witness while approaching her. The victim said Smith was upset after being trespassed earlier in the evening, according to the police report.

The victim said Smith aggressively lunged at the witness. He said when he got between Smith and the witness and told him to leave the property, Smith used a closed fist to punch him on the left side of his face. The victim said he grabbed Smith and held him on the ground until hospital security arrived. The officer observed mild swelling and redness to the victim’s left eye, the report said.

The witness told the officer that Smith came onto the property yelling at her. She said he charged towards her when she told him to leave. The witness said once Smith was in her face, the victim stood up and intervened. She said Smith then struck the victim with a closed fist, according to the report.

Smith was arrested and taken to the Lake County Jail, where he’s being held on $12,000 bond. Smith will appear in Lake County Court on Oct. 10.

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