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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Homeless man arrested after fracas in downtown Leesburg

A homeless man in Leesburg was arrested after getting into a fight and biting one man only to get up and punch an uninvolved woman.

Brandon Lee Samuel
Brandon Lee Samuel

An officer responded to a battery at the 700 block of West Main Street in Leesburg’s downtown district around 12:40 a.m. Saturday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. The caller stated a man with no shirt on, later identified as 30-year-old Brandon Lee Samuel, had just struck a person in the face, bit him and was walking away. 

The first officer on scene detained Samuel just down the road from the location because he matched the given description. Another officer then arrived and identified Samuel by his Florida ID, the report said. 

Samuel stated he had been in a physical altercation with an unknown person, but he did not say why. He did spontaneously utter he hit a female victim after the first altercation took place. He stated she was jumping on top of him, the report said. 

An officer next interviewed the first victim who stated he was in Leesburg when his girlfriend came to him and told him she was being harassed by a man outside. The victim went outside and observed Samuel yelling across the street from the location. Samuel proceeded to walk toward the victim by crossing the street, the report said. 

With his hands up in a defensive position, the victim told Samuel to “stay back.” Samuel continued advancing with his fists balled up, and he punched the victim on top of his forehead. The victim grabbed Samuel and tried to hold him to the ground, the report said. 

During that time, Samuel bit the victim on his left middle finger. The victim let Samuel stand up, and he struck the female in the face. He then walked away from the location, the report said. 

The victim had an observable contusion, or lump, on the left side of his forehead. He also had a scrape on his middle finger where he stated Samuel bit him and a small, 3-inch scrape on his right knee. He stated he got that injury when he held Samuel to the ground, the report said. 

The victim completed a sworn written statement in which he indicated he desired prosecution. He was given a victim’s rights pamphlet, as well. A total of 13 photos were taken of him, the report said. 

The officer next interviewed the girlfriend of the victim, or the witness. She advised that Samuel was yelling across the street from the location. At one point, he called her a derogatory term and demanded she give him a cigarette. She told him “no,” the report said. 

Samuel got up and started to walk toward her, which was when she went and relayed this information to her boyfriend, the victim. She described the same incident he did for the physical altercation. She also completed a sworn written statement, the report said. 

The officer proceeded to interview an independent witness who had no affiliation with the victim or Samuel. They explained that Samuel struck the victim in the face. The victim held him down on the ground while someone dialed Leesburg Emergency Services. Samuel then got up after biting the victim on the finger and punched a woman in the face, the report said. 

The last person to be interviewed was the second victim who was punched. She stated that she did not see the whole incident. She left the location to help de-escalate the incident outside the location. After the first victim released Samuel, he punched the second victim in the face with a closed fist. His open hand smacked her in the face, the report said. 

The second victim had an observable small laceration on her lip where Samuel punched her. She completed a sworn written statement in which she indicated a desire to prosecute. She was given a victim’s rights pamphlet, and eight photos were taken of her, the report said. 

Due to the independent witness and the observable injuries to the victims, the officer determined that Samuel was the aggressor in the incident. He was placed under arrest and taken to the LPD for booking. While there, a check of his criminal history revealed prior battery convictions from Aug. 2018 and Nov. 2018, the report said. 

Samuel was ultimately charged with two counts of battery (one prior conviction). He was transported to Lake County Jail with bond set at $10,000. 

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