It’s not uncommon to see kids fooling around on the course, pretending their golf clubs are swords. But this episode on a Florida golf course that involved a grown man was serious.
Police in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., arrested 38-year-old Michael Rich on Labor Day on charges of aggravated battery after he allegedly attacked two playing partners with his putter, sending one to the emergency room.
Tony Nazzaro, 72, was injured after Rich slammed his putter into the back of Nazzaro’s legs -- breaking the head off the putter. With the sharp end of the broken shaft, Rich then knocked Nazzaro’s phone out of his hands when he tried calling the golf pro, resulting in a cut, swollen arm.
According to WESH Orlando, it all started when Nazzaro and a friend were randomly paired with another man and Rich on the first tee. Rich set the tone for the round when he reportedly refused to shake hands with the group or ride along in a golf cart.
When the group reached the seventh green, Rich complained that Nazzaro didn’t mark his ball. Nazzaro reportedly poked fun at the complaint, which angered Rich, who proceeded to stomp on the green in Nazzaro’s line. That’s when Nazzaro took out his phone to call the pro and the attack allegedly occurred.
“In all the time I’ve been golfing, I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude happen on a golf course,” Nazzaro said.
Rich left the course before cops had arrived, but returned and was arrested.
Nazzaro said he did not want the man arrested, “but I told them, he belongs somewhere. This guy is crazy.”