Deputy Andrew Hudson responded to a 911 hang up call from a house on Avenue F, Big Pine Key at 11:50 p.m. Sunday. The woman who lives at the house where the call originated told the deputy she called because there was a group of people outside her house. She said she hung up because the group left the area.
As Deputy Hudson was leaving, he saw a small group of people still in the area. He stopped to speak to them. One of them said there had been a fight. He said 19 year old Craig Veitinger had been in the street with a baseball bat. He said a man named Max had fled into the woods when Deputy Hudson showed up.
Deputy Hudson attempted to find “Max” in the area with no success.
A few hours later, Deputy Hudson was at the Tom Thumb convenience store on Big Pine Key when a red Dodge Durango pulled up. A male passenger in the truck told the deputy there was an injured man, 22 year old Max Sanchez, in the vehicle. He said Sanchez had been hit several times with a baseball bat and might have a broken arm. Deputy Hudson found Sanchez laying in the back seat of the vehicle, unresponsive, He had blood on his clothing and an obviously broken arm. Sanchez was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for injuries to his body and his head. He is currently in stable condition. The others in the Durango said they found Sanchez in the bushes on Avenue F, unresponsive. They told Deputy Hudson a possible suspect was at Seahorse Campground on Big Pine Key.
Deputy Hudson went to Seahorse Campground and found a number of witnesses who said they saw Veitinger hit Sanchez repeatedly with a metal baseball bat.
Veitinger was found at his residence, the house on Avenue F where the original 911 call came from. He had a cut on his mouth and smelled strongly of alcohol. He said he’d been hit in the face by Sanchez. He said he saw a bat on the ground, but did not remember using it on Sanchez. He was taken to the hospital where he received stitches for the cut on his mouth. He was then arrested and charged with aggravated battery.