Suspect in sucker punch of disabled man claims attack by prison guards

A Pennsylvania man charged with sucker punching a disabled man has sent a letter to a local newspaper complaining that prison guards beat him up.

The Daily Local News in West Chester reports Thursday that Barry Robert Baker Jr. sent them a handwritten letter that says the beating left him with a concussion and a separated shoulder. He says one guard hit him while another made sure no one was watching.
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VIDEO: Man with cerebral palsy punched in West Chester. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 5pm on May 22, 2017.



Officials at Chester County Prison told the paper they are investigating. His lawyer says he's aware of the incident.

The 29-year-old Baker is accused of punching a man with cerebral palsy in the face after mocking the way the man walked outside a convenience store in May. The attack was caught on video by the store's surveillance camera.

Baker, of Georgetown, Delaware, was arrested in June in Uwchlan Township.


Baker was initially charged in the attack outside a 7-Eleven in West Chester. He was released on bail, then disappeared.

Baker was being sought for failure to appear for a domestic relations matter and on an adult probation warrant.

"We're pleased that Mr. Baker is in custody," said Chester County Sheriff Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh in a statement. "It was a great effort by multiple agencies."

District Attorney Tom Hogan said the public, through extensive social media contacts, was instrumental in providing leads.

Hogan said investigators received a tip on where Baker would be, and he was tracked through multiple locations.

He was eventually found at the Clarion Hotel in Exton, Pa.

"Every cop on the street told me that they were looking for this defendant," Hogan said in a statement. "In addition, the public did an outstanding job through social media of getting the word out that the defendant was wanted. Nobody was going to quit until the defendant was in prison, where he belongs."

The brutal incident happened outside the 7-Eleven at 200 South High Street in West Chester around 2:30 a.m. on May 10.

As the video begins, the victim is seen pulling up in a white SUV just as the suspect walks out of the store.
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RAW VIDEO: Disabled man assaulted in West Chester


That's when a man in a yellow sweatshirt, identified by investigators as Baker, appears to mock the victim after he goes inside.

A few minutes later, the victim walks out of the store and the suspect apparently mocks him again.

The suspect then follows the victim into the parking lot and punches the victim in the face without warning.

The victim stumbles backward over the hood of his SUV as the man identified as Baker walks away.

The 22-year-old victim composes himself, gets into his vehicle and drives away.

The victim later contacted police.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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