Miami model accused of beating homeless man to death with bat

MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami-based model has been accused of beating a homeless man to death with a bat at a Miami gas station.

Surveillance video from June 8th shows a man, identified by police as 33-year-old Hivo Rolando Gonzalez, getting out of his black truck at a Valero gas station, in the area of Northwest 79th Street and Fifth Court.

He’s seen cleaning out his boat, which was hitched to his truck, when he was approached by a homeless man, identified as Pedro Cruz, and the two got into a heated exchange that escalated.

Gonzalez is then seen pulling a fishing bat out of his truck and chasing Cruz down, striking him in the head twice, then driving away.

Cruz later died from his injuries.

Gonzalez’s defense attorney H. Scott Fingerhut told the Miami Herald Cruz was threatening his client for not giving him money, and says Gonzalez believed he was in a “life or death situation.”

According to published reports, Gonzalez is model and runs fishing trips. He lives in a neighborhood in Miami Springs where neighbors of his were shocked at the news.

“Somebody who [does] this terrible crime has to be punished,” said neighbor Joseph Arboleta.

“It scared me; it scared everybody,” another neighbor said.

Gonzalez has been charged with murder.

7News reached out to Gonzalez’s attorney, who has not responded to our requests for comment on the case.

Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.