MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police hope surveillance video from an upscale Miami Beach hotel will lead to the arrest of the person who attacked a man after, they said, a popular social media personality claimed the man had taken a photo of him.
Benjamin Kapelushnik, also known as Benjamin Kickz, was arrested on Jan. 7 for his alleged role in the New Year’s Eve incident at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Kapelushnik is known for selling expensive shoes to celebrities.
“The victim says the subject thought he had taken a photo of him and was demanding his cellphone,” Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said. “The victim refuses. The subject in this case snatches the phone from him.”
He has been charged with strong-arm robbery for the incident, which began inside before it spilled out into the hotel’s valet area.
Kapelushnik’s entourage could be seen surrounding the victim before, police said, the social media star snatched his phone.
“He hands the phone to his friend,” Rodriguez said. “You’re seeing the victim basically wanting his property back.”
However, Kapelushnik’s friend could then be seen attacking the victim.
“Constantly, just aggressively, beating this man in the face,” Rodriguez said.
The victim’s head was slammed to the concrete before the group left the hotel.
Video showed the bloodied victim using his shirt as a towel and being helped by security. He would later be taken to the hospital.
Police hope the surveillance video will help generate leads that will result in the unidentified attacker’s arrest.
“There’s no doubt that the subject that was arrested knows who this second perpetrator is,” Rodriguez said. “Someone out there knows him, and we need to get this man off the street.”
Investigators said Kapelushnik has not disclosed the attacker’s name.
If you have any information on this incident, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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