DeLand, Florida — The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a DeLand man Friday for beating another man so severely that the victim is currently in an intensive care unit on full life support. The altercation happened early Monday morning in a dirt lot at 1800 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand after the victim, Jonathan Micheo, had left a nearby bar.
Micheo had backed into a parked vehicle while driving out of the bar’s parking lot. Lawrence Clarke III (10/26/1985) knew the owner of the struck vehicle and enlisted another man’s help in chasing after Micheo. The men wound up in the dirt lot where Clarke punched and then kicked Micheo in the head. Clarke fled while witnesses called 911 to report the fight. Micheo, 35, was flown by Sheriff’s Office helicopter to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach where he remains today. Investigators worked over the next few days to identify Clarke and obtained a warrant Friday charging him with aggravated battery. He was arrested later that day and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.
Micheo was with two friends Sunday night and early Monday morning drinking at various bars. The last bar they visited was the H2 Bar, 2620 N. Woodland Blvd. Witnesses later told investigators that Micheo and his friends were being belligerent in the bar and the owner asked them to leave. The trio got into Micheo’s H3 Hummer and then Micheo backed into a parked car but kept driving. A witness went into the bar to let the damaged car’s owner know what happened. This prompted Clarke to run outside where he spotted a bystander driving out of the parking lot in a pickup truck. Clarke and another unknown man jumped into the truck bed and directed the driver to go after the Hummer to get its license plate number.
Witnesses believed that Micheo was driving while intoxicated due to his erratic driving. When the pickup truck caught up to Micheo, the Hummer tried to run the pickup off the road. Meanwhile, Clarke had thrown a piece of scrap metal found in the truck bed at the Hummer, smashing its windshield. Both vehicles pulled over at a dirt lot where Clarke and the other man jumped out of the truck bed. The Hummer then chased after the men who were now on foot while the pickup driver drove to the other end of the lot to safety. Micheo got out of the Hummer and confronted Clarke. That’s when Clarke punched Micheo in the head, sending him immediately to the ground. Clarke then kicked Micheo’s head. Finally, Clarke and the other man got into the pickup truck for a ride back to the bar.
Clarke was arrested at about noon on Friday at a relative’s house in DeLeon Springs. He is also charged with throwing a deadly missile. Investigators do not anticipate charging anyone else in this incident at this time. Micheo is suffering from multiple skull fractures and brain swelling.