Single punch leaves Alabama teen in critical condition

18-year-old Wyatt George is charged with second degree assault
Updated: Oct. 21, 2019 at 5:17 PM CDT
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HOLTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - An Elmore County teenager is in critical condition after being punched on Oct. 11.

Sheriff Bill Franklin says a group of teens gathered behind a home on Highway 111 near Holtville High School after the school’s football game that night.

One punch to the jaw sent Dawson Baker to the ground, and he never regained consciousness. Baker is in critical condition at UAB Hospital and on a ventilator, according to his mom.

Authorities have identified the person who threw the punch as 18-year-old Wyatt George. He has been arrested and charged with second degree assault.

Wyatt George, 18, is charged with second degree assault.
Wyatt George, 18, is charged with second degree assault.(Source: Elmore County Sheriff's Department)

George graduated last year from Holtville High School. Baker is still a student at the school. The gathering took place at the home of another student whose parents were not there at the time.

The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office released video from the incident with the full permission of Baker’s mother.

*WARNING: The video is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.*

The video shows Baker fall straight to the ground after being punched once. He never raised his hands or tried to defend himself.

Investigators say Baker remained on the ground for 15 minutes after being punched. One person finally stepped forward and felt a weak pulse, investigators say.

“I don’t think those kids understood the severity of his injuries," Franklin said.

Someone called 911, but it was George who drove Baker to Elmore County Community Hospital, according to the sheriff. Baker was then transported to UAB.

“By the end of the night, I think [George] understood the severity of everything going on," Franklin said.

The sheriff said there was obviously some alcohol at the gathering. However, he said there was no evidence Baker had been drinking, and he’s not sure about George.

Investigators say it appears the fight was over a girl from Prattville.

“At one time, Mr. Baker did have some type of relationship with this girl," Franklin said.

Baker’s 18th birthday was this week. There is no word on his prognosis.

Baker’s mom said on Facebook her son had surgery and is being treated for pneumonia. The family says this will be a day-by-day journey.

The sheriff said Baker is in everyone’s prayers.

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