A man seen covered in blood and running from a Yulee residence told Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputies he might only need stitches for his wounds, but the person who allegedly cut him with a machete will now need to answer to charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
The incident that started Tuesday around 6 p.m. led to the arrest of Ralph James Natrillo III, who told a responding deputy that he was acting in self-defense.
According to a report from the NCSO, Harris told deputies he was trying to protect his mother from Natrillo, who had raised a machete toward her during an argument. The woman told one of the responding deputies she was “in great fear of her life and did not know what to do." The woman’s juvenile son also heard the fight. She said Harris tried to remove her from the living room and that is when Natrillo allegedly struck him with the machete.
Harris told one of the deputies that after he was struck he ran to his bedroom to get a baseball bat to protect himself, his mother, and his younger brother.
At some point Harris ran out of the residence and Natrillo also left.
“An off-duty Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer, who was driving by in his patrol car, witnessed the victim run out of the house with blood on the front of his body. The JSO officer also detained the suspect who also came out of the residence,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said in an email. “From interviewing witnesses and observing physical evidence it was determined that the suspect was having an argument with another individual inside the home.”
Leeper said Natrillo struck Harris in the head and an arm with the machete. Harris was checked by Nassau County Fire-Rescue and told them he might need stitches for the laceration on his right forearm but declined to be transported, according to the report.
Natrillo was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is being held on a $150,004 bond in the Nassau County Jail.