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Girls’ argument ends with father beaten with pipe, police say

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com · 340-2355

The beating of a man with a metal pipe in the middle of a street apparently stemmed from a fight between his daughter and another girl, Decatur police said Thursday.

Gerry Sykes, 41, was taken to Decatur General Hospital by ambulance after police and emergency personnel arrived to find him lying in a pool of blood on Third Avenue Southwest at Betty Street at about 7:30 p.m.

Sykes was later transferred to Huntsville Hospital.

His condition was not available, but police said his skull might have been fractured by the attack.

Sequence of events

Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman, said Skyes’ wife and daughter told officers that two girls had come to their residence at 302 Betty St. S.W. and knocked on the door.

According to the report, when Sykes’ wife opened the door, one of the girls went straight to their daughter’s bedroom and began punching her in the face.

Sykes grabbed the girl, escorted her to the door and pushed her outside.

According to the report, the girl who had waited outside phoned her father, who soon arrived at the residence and climbed out of his pickup wielding a metal pipe.

Sykes’ wife and daughter told police the girl’s father assaulted Sykes in the middle of Third Avenue, clubbing his head several times with the pipe, Mathews said.

Afterwards, the man left in his pickup.

Sykes’ wife told police her daughter had previous problems with one of the girls, Mathews said.

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