MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A 52-year-old homeless man was airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami Sunday afternoon after he was reportedly struck by another homeless man, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.
George Wesley Shaia was airlifted after the 11:30 a.m. incident at a homeless camp near 100 County Road on Big Pine Key, according to deputies.
He remained at the hospital Monday in stable condition, deputies say.
Detective Spencer Curry was working an off-duty detail when he was flagged down by someone from the nearby Keys Vineyard Community Church requesting an ambulance for a man, later identified as Shaia, who had a cut on the back of his head, deputies said.
Shaia told newly arrived Deputy Donald Stullken that he was talking to a homeless woman at the camp when another homeless man “sucker punched” him in the back of the head, deputies said.
Stullken noticed the cut to Shaia’s head as well as his left eye, which was swollen and turning purple, according to deputies.
It was determined that Shaia needed to be flown to Miami, deputies said.
Stullken later found the woman who spoke with Shaia, but she was too intoxicated to make a statement, according to deputies.
Curry and other detectives are investigating whether Shaia was attacked or if he suffered some other medical emergency.