Arrest made in alleged New Year's Eve sucker punch incident

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A man has been arrested in a New Year’s Eve battery case where the victim later died.

On December 31, 2019, Chatham County Police officers were called to Basil’s restaurant on Wilmington Island for a report of an assault.

"Upon arrival, witnesses and 66-year-old Bruce Helmly told officers he had been punched by a man at the restaurant. Witnesses indicated that the punch was unexpected and unprovoked. Helmly refused EMS at the scene," police report.

The next morning, on January 1, 2020, Helmly was transported to a local hospital after losing consciousness.

"On January 2, 2020, Chatham County Police detectives arrested and charged 19-year-old Charles Teeple, Jr. with battery in connection with the punch that targeted Helmly," police say.



On January 8, Helmly died at a local hospital.

The Chatham County Police Department’s investigation into the incident is continuing, "and if there are any additional charges they will be based on autopsy results indicating Helmly’s cause of death," police say.





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