Vero News

Man charged after beating men with metal pipe at homeless camp

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A 42-year-old Delray Beach man was jailed after deputies said he beat two men with a metal pipe at a homeless camp in a dispute over unpaid debts.

The injured men were taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce Thursday with serious injuries. One of the men received two staples to his head, reports show.

Morris Irving Aaronson

Deputies arrested Morris Irving Aaronson on a charge of battery causing bodily harm. Aaronson was held Friday at the Indian River County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Another man also arrived at the camp with Aaronson, but it was unclear if he was arrested.

Indian River County deputies responded to the incident about 9:30 a.m. at a homeless camp in the woods behind the Vero Beach Outlets mall, just west of Interstate 95. Indian River County Fire Rescue crews initially said the injured men “appeared to be stabbed with something.”

One of the men told deputies he was sitting at the camp earlier when he saw Aaronson and another man quickly approach their tent. The men said a fight broke out, and Aaronson began hitting everyone with the metal pipe, reports show.

Aaronson told deputies he went to the camp with the other man to “say hi,” reports show. Aaronson said once they arrived, he learned the man wanted to collect money owed to him from one of the men in the tent, deputies said.

Aaronson told deputies he defended himself during the fight, but denied having any weapons, reports show.

Deputies booked Aaronson in to the county jail. Aaronson has an arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 16, court records show.

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