Anchorage student in coma after being struck by baseball bat

Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 16-year-old high school student is in a coma after a weekend fight where another student hit him on the head with a baseball bat, Anchorage police say.

Tad Joseph Sheffield, 16, was charged as an adult Tuesday with first-degree assault, a felony.

The boys, who had a long-running dispute, spotted each other in separate cars shortly after midnight Saturday and agreed to meet for a fight behind a Fred Meyer store, Anchorage police said.

Sheffield brought an aluminum baseball bat, but put it down after the group of 10 or so onlookers told him he couldn't use it, police said.

They wrestled and exchanged blows. When the fight appeared over, Sheffield had gotten the worst of it, witnesses told police.

But he retrieved the bat and struck the other boy on the side of the head, Detective Scott Lofthouse said.

The injured boy managed to walk away, but collapsed several hours later. He was taken to a hospital where a CT scan revealed a blood clot requiring emergency brain surgery to remove.

Doctors won't know his prognosis for another day or so, Lofthouse said.

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