Police: Man dies after being struck by baseball bat

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office say suspect struck victim during dispute

Published On: Jan 05 2014 04:02:59 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 06 2014 12:04:03 PM EST

A verbal dispute Saturday night escalated to a suspect striking a 31-year-old man in the head with a baseball bat, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Police said the victim died Sunday.

Sgt. Michael Paul said patrol officers responded to an aggravated battery call at about 11:50 p.m. on Santa Fe Street North on the Southside.

When police arrived, they spoke with a witness, who told officials there had been a dispute between two people during a small gathering in his home, according to Paul.

Paul said the suspect struck the victim, Joshua Heinz, 31, in the head with a baseball bat.

A witness told police Heinz had some people over to watch football, and he and a man known as Chico began arguing over cutting up barbecue. The witness did not see the assault but heard it and found Chico holding the bat, police said. They said Chico then fled.

Heinz was transported to St. Vincent's Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries, but died Sunday morning. 

Paul said police do not currently have anyone in custody, and that officials are actively looking for witnesses that may be able to identify a suspect. 

If you have any information on the suspect, police urge you to call them at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.