A man charged with two felonies in connection with an assault at Bakersfield Speedway told investigators he only punched someone after that person "sucker punched" his father, according to court documents.
Kyle Flippo, 39, described a chaotic scene in which multiple people were hit during an altercation that occurred following the Mod Lites feature race June 9. Flippo's son was in the race, as was the brother of 20-year-old Zachary Diamond.
Flippo told sheriff's investigators he punched Diamond after the other man hit his father.
The interview occurred at his home, where he went after leaving the Speedway.
"I didn't even hit him that hard," Flippo said in the documents.
Investigators informed Flippo that Diamond was in the hospital with a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. They arrested him.
Flippo has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault on a person with force inflicting great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury. He's out of custody and next due in court Oct. 23.
The documents say Diamond fell and hit his head after being punched by Flippo, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 270 pounds.
One witness told investigators Diamond fell "like a rag doll" and may already have been unconscious before hitting the ground. He began bleeding from his ear, the witness said in the documents.
Another witness said Flippo got a running start before landing the punch, the documents say.
Diamond was taken to a hospital and, while not in a coma, was mostly unresponsive in the days after the incident, Diamond's mother, Linda Valdez, has said.