HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are searching for the person caught on camera attacking a hotel owner in Hollywood over a private parking spot during Memorial Day weekend.
Video released by Hollywood Police showed the victim speaking to the man who then walked up to him and started beating him.
The victim, who identified himself as Rudy, spoke with 7News about the May 25 incident on Friday.
“It’s amazing how people can do that, plus I was senior citizen. Next year I’m going to be 70 years old,” he said.
Rudy owns the Shore View Hotel, located along the 1100 block of South Surf Road, near Foxglove Terrace.
He said drivers parking in these spaces is something that happens all too often.
“People park in our spaces, even though they say ‘tow away’ and everything else,” he said. “They’ll park in our private property and go to the beach.”
The subject, seen sporting dreadlocks and wearing a red T-shirt and black shorts, was apparently one of those people.
Rudy said he asked the subject not to park his vehicle in a clearly marked parking spot on the property.
“I asked him very kindly if he would move,” said Rudy.
But the hotel owner said the driver told him he had no intentions of moving his car.
“He told me that when he comes to Hollywood, he parks wherever the ‘eff’ he wants to,” said Rudy.
The hotel owner said he felt it was time to contact the authorities.
“When I saw he was that hostile, I turned around and went to get my cellphone out of the office to call the police,” he said.
When he came back out of the office, Rudy saw the driver had made himself at home.
“He was smoking a joint, and he told me that, because I was so nice to him, he would go ahead and leave, but after he finished his joint,” said Rudy, “so I told him, ‘You can’t smoke because I’ve got a hotel full of people and kids here. The smell is everywhere. You can’t do that.'”
Still, Rudy said, it looked like the man was going to leave, but he didn’t.
“Before I know it, he came back behind me, and he sucker punched me,” he said.
The footage showed the driver pummeling Rudy with his fists as the victim knelt on the ground trying to shield himself from the blows.
“I can’t defend myself like I used to, when I was in my 20s and 30s,” said Rudy.
Police said a woman who was riding with the subject then intervened. She is seen appearing to try to stop the assault.
The attack left Rudy badly bruised on his throat and neck. He said he’s OK but still suffers from blurry vision and may have even suffered a concussion.
Some area residents said they don’t feel safe anymore.
“I think it’s horrific,” said Sherry Kushner. “I’m born and raised here, and to be quite honest, I’m ready to move on.”
Investigators said the subject is possibly driving a burgundy Mustang. Rudy said it looks like the license tag begins with the letter “E.”
“It’s just very sad. The world is getting very, very angry,” he said.
If you have any information on the attacker’s whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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