Charles Teeple Jr. was arrested for battery after allegedly punching Bruce Helmly on New Year’s Eve. Helmly died days after the incident.
Photo: Chatham County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Chatham County Sheriff's Office

Savannah police investigating New Year’s Eve battery case after victim dies

The Chatham County Police Department is investigating a New Year’s Eve battery case in which the victim died days after being punched.

Witnesses told CCPD that on Dec. 31 at Basil’s Pizza & Deli, a restaurant on Wilmington Island,  Bruce Helmly was punched by a man, unexpectedly without provocation. EMS arrived to the scene to check on the 66-year-old, but at the time, he refused medical care, according to a police department news release.

The next morning, Helmly was transported to a local hospital after he lost consciousness. On Jan. 2, 19-year-old Charles Teeple Jr. was arrested for battery in connection to the case. 

On Jan. 8, Helmly died while being treated at a hospital. His death has led to authorities considering additional charges pending Helmly’s autopsy report.

“The Chatham County Police Department’s investigation into the incident is continuing, and if there are any additional charges they will be based on autopsy results indicating Helmly’s cause of death,” according to a news release.

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