Jury set to decide fate of former officer accused of punching Fort Lauderdale hotel valet

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The victim of a sucker punch allegedly thrown by a former officer gave his testimony in court. Now a jury will decide his fate.

The valet employee, Rodolfo Rodriguez, was seen on camera being knocked out cold in front of the Ocean Sky Hotel in Fort Lauderdale on July 25, 2017.

Former officer John Kiernan maintained in court that he felt he was in danger.

“He put his hands in his pockets, and he told me that he was going to fight me,” Kiernan said on the stand. “To me that is bad. Really bad.”

Kiernan and his wife, who is seen in the video wearing red shorts, told police the two were arguing over an $18 parking fee.

“He said something to the subject of, ‘[expletive] pay the fee or get the [expletive] out of the parking lot,'” Kiernan said.

Rodriguez claimed it was the Kiernans who were rude.

“Furious. He was very worked up,” Rodriguez’s attorney said in court. “He did not want to accept that he needed to pay for his friends to park there.”

The former officer turned down a plea deal Tuesday that would have put him on probation for six months. However, he now faces up to a year behind bars if convicted by the jury.

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