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Sex offender beaten while picking persimmon

11-4-2009 Florida:

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- A sex offender's craving for persimmon was cut short by a punch to the ear from a neighbor who lived near the wild tree the convicted molester was perusing, deputies said.

The neighbor, Chad T. Bunfill, 38, was arrested Sunday on a charge of battery on a person 65 or older, a sheriff's report said. Bunfill got out of jail after posting $1,500 bail, court records show.

No one answered the phone at Bunfill's home this afternoon.

The man on the receiving end of Bunfill's clenched fist, ___, 68, recently had open heart surgery and walked in the mornings while it was cool, a sheriff's report said. ___ pleaded no contest to lewd and lascivious assault on a child younger than 16 in 1999, and after less than three years in prison is still on seven years probation, court records show.

The wild persimmon tree was on the edge of a vacant lot across from ___'s home and not on Bunfill's property, deputies said.

According to the report, ___ was out on his walk at 7:43 a.m. Sunday when he stopped in front of the vacant lot near Bunfill's property, across from his Mills Drive residence. ___ was checking for ripe persimmons to pick eat. That's when he heard Bunfill behind him shouting and cursing at him, calling him a baby rapist and sex offender, the report said.

___ said a yelling Bunfill approached and punched ___ on the left side of the face and ear. ___ tried to get away from Bunfill, but the neighbor followed ___ and threatened to kill him, the report said.

Bunfill told deputies that this girlfriend was taking his 8-year-old twin girls to school at the same time that ___ stopped to check out the orange-colored fruits, the report said.

Bunfill's girlfriend, Darlyn Warner, told deputies ___ had his back to them and did not see or speak to them when she left with the children. Warner said she called Bunfill to alert him that ___ was near their home, the report said.

Deputies asked Bunfill if he hit ___ and Bunfill looked down and swallowed so hard that a "gulping" sound was heard. He answered "no," the report said. ..Source.. by PATRICIO G. BALONA, STAFF WRITER

Sex offender wanted a persimmon. He got punched

Ross Lane Johnson, 68, who lives just outside New Smyrna Beach is a convicted sex offender. He's also an early morning walker.

He was out walking recently and happened upon a persimmon tree on a vacant lot. He thought he'd pick some fruit when a neighbor started shouting at him. And, no, it wasn't about swiping fruit.

Chad T.Bunfill was cursing and calling him a baby rapist and sex offender, reports the Daytona Beach News Journal.

That's when Johnson said Bunfill punched him on the left side of the face and ear. Bunfill, 38, was arrested on a charge of battery on a person 65 or older. ..Source.. by Barbara Hijek

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