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ARREST MADE IN FELONY BATTERY OF CONVENIENCE STORE EMPLOYEE

UPDATE ON INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE ON JANUARY 29, 2021.

The original release is included below

LAKELAND, FL (March 12, 2021) – Sadly, the victim mentioned in the press release below succumbed to his injuries on March 7, 2021. The 58-year-old man had remained hospitalized since the assault and had never regained consciousness. The findings of an autopsy, conducted on March 9, 2021, determined the cause of death to be trauma to the head, and the manner of death was classified as a homicide. Mandel Baker, age 35, is now facing an additional charge of Manslaughter (F2). Baker remains incarcerated in the Polk County Jail. 

LAKELAND, FL (February 1, 2021) – Lakeland Police have made an arrest in the felony battery of a convenience store employee that took place on Friday, January 29, 2021. Mandel Baker, age 35, has been charged with Felony Battery with Great Bodily Harm.  

On Friday, January 29, 2021, at approximately 5:36 p.m., officers were called to the Food Mart/Mobil Gas Station, located at 1615 West Memorial Boulevard. Inside they found an adult male motionless on the floor with a laceration to the head. According to a witness, a man, later identified as Baker, had been in the store just prior asking for cigarettes. Baker had asked the store clerk to give him cigarettes for payment at a later date. The clerk denied Baker’s request. Baker then approached another store employee with the same request, and he was denied again. Baker then ran toward the employee punching him in the face. The victim, age 58, fell back and hit his head on the hard floor surface, sustaining critical life-threatening injuries. He was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for treatment. At last update, the victim remains in critical condition. 

Using surveillance footage and citizen tips submitted through Crime Stoppers Florida, Baker was identified and arrested on Saturday, January 30, 2021. Baker’s booking information can be found at https://www.polksheriff.org/inmate-profile/2103567

If you have additional information related to this case, please contact Detective Biko Duhaney at [email protected] or (863) 834-5918. Or if you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida:

* Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)

* From your cell phone, dial **TIPS

* Or visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,”

* Or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.

You will always remain anonymous when you send a tip through Crime Stoppers, and you are eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.

The name of victim is being withheld in accordance with Marsy’s Law. 

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