On Tuesday morning, March 3, Deputies were called to a residence at the 200 block of SW Creekside Lane where a man had been attacked by a machete wielding suspect.
Deputies located the victim inside his garage suffering from serious injuries to his upper body. The victim was conscious and able to provide the deputies with the suspect’s name and that he had left the area on foot. The victim was flown to a Gainesville hospital for treatment and his condition is currently unknown.
CCSO K9 teams began to track the suspect as units from CCSO and FHP saturated the area and established a perimeter. Detectives were called out and assistance was requested from DOC for additional K9 units.
DOC K9 teams arrived and assumed the track. Nearly 2 hours after the attack, DOC K9 had tracked the suspect along I75 to near U.S 90. A deputy looking for the suspect along U.S 90 spotted him near Bascom Norris and took him into custody without incident.
The suspect, Stephen Wayne Gooch, 33 was arrested for aggravated battery and will be booked into the Columbia County Detention facility after his interview by detectives. Gooch has no local address and is from the Marion County Florida area. Motive for the attack is unknown at this time, however Gooch and the victim were acquainted.
The investigation continues.
“I’m proud of the observant deputy for spotting and arresting Gooch. The team effort in capturing this dangerous suspect was stellar.” Sheriff Mark Hunter said, “We have fantastic support from our state partners and we appreciated them helping us keep Columbia County safe!”