Man claiming neighbor vandalized car strikes neighbor’s brother-in-law with vehicle

COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) - A man who said he was the victim of a hate crime in Coconut Creek was arrested over the weekend and is now facing some serious charges.

Monday morning, Benjamin Siegel appeared in bond court and faced charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm and battery on a police officer.

Hours later, a third charge of attempted murder was added.

According to an affidavit, Siegel yelled out “You’re dead!” before he intentionally drove his car onto the sidewalk and hit Robert Hernandez on the street where both men live, Sunday afternoon.

Police said after the incident, Siegel left the scene and drove home. When officers went to arrest him, they said he spit on them twice.

Police said Hernandez suffered injuries to his right ankle.

Siegel’s arrest comes days after he accused Hernandez’s brother-in-law, Brandon Kittendorf, of vandalizing his home and car.

Siegel accused Kittendorf of spray-painting racial slurs on his vehicle. 7News cameras captured the car defaced with red spray paint, Wednesday.

Kittendorf has denied the allegations.

A 7News crew was present where Siegel and Kittendorf exchanged words following that incident.

Police said Siegel and his neighbor have been feuding for a long time. They are still investigating what happened in the vandalism case.

Siegel’s attorney, Kenneth Padowitz, said his client will plead not guilty. “We’re going to go forward with or investigation and take it from there,” he said.

Siegel is being held on a $21,000 bond, but due to the newly added attempted murder charge, it is unclear whether he will be released.

Siegel has been ordered to have no contact with Hernandez, wear an ankle monitor and undergo a psych evaluation.

“Just as a precaution, we are going to make sure that an evaluation is done of my client by a top forensic psychologist,” said Padowitz.

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