*** UPDATE on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 ***
Tommy Lee Shytle succumbed to the injuries sustained on August 23, 2020 and was pronounced deceased at 2:36 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
Next of kin has been notified.
State Attorney’s Office has been notified.
***END OF UPDATE***
**Original News Release**
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
Investigative Operations Bureau
Forensic Science Division
Tommy Lee Shytle (victim-critical condition)
Address: 1736 Gulf to Bay Boulevard #41 in Clearwater
Brian Joseph Loch (witness)
Shawn Steven Sokol (arrested)
Address: 18215 Gulf Boulevard #2 in Redington Shores
Charges: One count of Aggravated Battery, one count of Loitering and Prowling.
Detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit are investigating an altercation that resulted in serious bodily injury.
Deputies responded to JD’s on the Rocks bar in Indian Rocks Beach at approximately 3:24 p.m. on Sunday, August 23, 2020.
The incident occurred at 125 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an altercation at 125 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach and discovered 56-year-old Tommy Lee Shytle laying in the parking lot with serious bodily injury to his head.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives determined 34-year-old Brian Joseph Loch and his friend 35-year-old Shawn Steven Sokol were drinking together at approximately 3:20 p.m. on Sunday, August 23, 2020 at JD’s on the Rocks bar, located at 125 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach.
Detectives learned Loch became disruptive in the bar and challenged Shytle, another bar patron, to a fight outside in the bar’s parking lot. Detectives say when Shytle came outside to confront Loch, Sokol was already outside and standing off to the side out of Shytle’s view. Sokol suddenly ran up and struck Shytle in the face with a full force punch. Witnesses advised Shytle was unaware of Sokol’s attack and was unable to defend himself.
According to detectives, Sokol’s punch caused Shytle to fall directly to the ground, striking his head on the asphalt parking lot, which resulted in a serious head injury.
Detectives say Sokol fled the scene after punching Shytle. Deputies were able to locate Sokol a short time later hiding nearby.
Shytle was transported to a hospital where he remains in critical condition on life support.
Detectives arrested Sokol and charged him with one count of Aggravated Battery and one count of Loitering and Prowling.
Sokol was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
If anyone was a witness or has information regarding this investigation, please call Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Detective Creaser at (727) 582-5803.
The investigation continues.
Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info