Police: 79-year-old San Leon man knocked out rival in bar fight about woman


by Chris Paschenko / The Daily News


Posted on December 10, 2009 at 10:42 AM

SAN LEON, Texas — Despite giving up 5 inches and 50 pounds, a 79-year-old man knocked an acquaintance unconscious in a bar fight about a woman, authorities allege.

Caleb Thomas Dickson, 53, of San Leon, was listed in good condition Wednesday at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The fight was reported at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Radio City, a bar in the 900 block of Bayshore.

Authorities found Dickson, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 220 pounds, unconscious on the floor, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Barry Cook said.

"He went to say something about a woman but didn’t say what it was about or whether they were seeing the same woman," Cook said.

An argument led Dickson to punch Joseph Swart, who is 5-feet 7-inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, Cook said. Swart is known at the bar as "Old Man Joe," Cook said.

"The old man knocked him to the floor, jumped on top of him and was banging his head into the floor," Cook said.

It’s unlikely Swart would be charged, Cook said.

Swart left the bar, and paramedics found Dickson unconscious and called for a medical helicopter. Heavy fog, however, prevented one from flying.

Dickson was unconscious for as many as eight minutes, authorities said.

"While the paramedics were treating the victim, the deputy talked to him, and he declined to file charges," Cook said. "The deputy asked if he was sure, and he replied once more he didn’t want to file charges."

An ambulance from Texas City drove to San Leon and took Dickson to Galveston.

"I suspect alcohol played a role in this case," Cook said.

This story was brought to you thanks to khou.com's partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.