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'Pork Chop,' A Florida Gentleman
A Florida construction worker with the charming nickname "Pork Chop" was arrested last Wednesday on charges of aggravated battery after an argument with his boss escalated into one of those stories where mentioning "Florida" almost feels beside the point:
A 32-year-old Sanford man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly burying his boss -- Perry A. Byrd, 57, of Orlando -- in dirt with a front-end loader and beating him into unconsciousness, a report said. Erick A. Cox was arguing with Byrd at the construction site of the new Wal-Mart on U.S. Highway 17-92 in DeBary about 7: 20 a.m. Wednesday when a witness said Cox dumped a load of dirt onto the site superintendent's head, according to a report.
You got your Walmart, your Florida, your attempted murder by front-end-loader, and DeBurial in DeBary. Add some weed, alligators, and a stripper pole and you'd have the Ultimate Wonkette Story of Forever.
It's not entirely clear what the hell got Pork Chop all worked up. But once worked up, he did not deal with his stress in a constructive manner. A witness told Volusia County deputies that after the first load of dirt pinned the manager to the ground, Cox then dug up a second load of dirt and dumped it onto Byrd, covering half his body. Then Cox got down from the loader and began whaling on Byrd with a 6-foot aluminum ladder, as one does.
Byrd was eventually knocked unconscious and the witness saw Cox "standing over [him] cussing and laughing about the situation," according to the report. Byrd suffered a "large" cut to the back of his head that required stitches. The witness then hollered for his other coworkers to come help dig their boss out of the dirt, according to the report.
Cox claims that's not what happened, not at all, no, don't be silly. According to Cox, what really happened was that he and Byrd had been cussing at each other from the moment Cox arrived at 6: 30 that morning, and then when Cox went to operate the loader, Byrd continued yelling obscenities at him and threatening to beat him up. Yeah. The details, we have to say, get a bit fuzzy in this narrative:
Cox said after Byrd swung a fist at him and spit in his face, Cox tried to leave. That's when Cox claimed Byrd threatened to "cut" his "head off" and reached into his pocket, according to what he told officials. Byrd later ended up on the ground, where Cox claimed he accidentally buried Byrd's leg in dirt when he "bumped the bucket control-lever as he was reaching for the keys," according to the report.
You know how it is when someone's threatening to cut your head off. They just end up on the ground, under a load of dirt, sometimes. These things happen.
Pork Chop's criminal history includes previous charges of "aggravated battery, domestic violence and battery convictions stemming back to 2003, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement." After being booked, Cox was released on $5,000 bond; unfortunately, the American judicial system has not yet adopted the practice -- proposed in Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk classic Snow Crash -- of ordering certain offenders to have POOR IMPULSE CONTROL tattooed on their foreheads.
We'll also assume that, on the advice of his attorney, Mr. Chop did not ask, "Do I LOOK like the sort of person who'd try to murder someone with heavy construction equipment?"
As of press time, the reality series rights appear to still be available.