Police chief: Man accused of punching valet should be prosecuted

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Fort Lauderdale’s police chief called for the prosecution of a man caught on surveillance video assaulting a valet, last week.

Cameras rolled at the Ocean Sky Resort in Fort Lauderdale as a man punched a valet to the ground, Tuesday.

Hotel guests identified the assailant as John Kiernan, a former Atlanta police officer.

The victim, Rodolfo Rodriguez, said Kiernan punched him in the face, Tuesday, after deciding he didn’t want to pay to park.

No arrests were made, and staff were confused as to why Kiernan was not arrested.

“I kept asking, ‘Why is this guy not going to jail? Why is he not in handcuffs? He just assaulted my employee,'” said night manager Mark Dyer.

A week following the incident, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione has decided to weigh in.

Maglione released a statement that reads in part, “Regarding this particular case: The suspect is identified and should be prosecuted … If the officer makes the determination not to make an immediate arrest on the scene, that in no way means a suspect cannot be prosecuted.”

7News caught up with Rodriguez after the chief’s statement. He said he still gets headaches after the punch and wants to see the former Atlanta officer arrested.

“I get like a headache everyday after the punch, and I get a pain on my jaw everyday,” Rodriguez said. “He’s got to go to court.”

Maglione also said there is a good reason police are taking a closer look into the alleged battery.

“Generally speaking, the police department does not conduct follow-up investigations on misdemeanor crimes but did so on this case due to the egregious and allegedly unprovoked nature of this attack,” he said in his statement.

The police department has wrapped up its investigation, and the case is now in the hands of the State Attorney’s Office.

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