MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A 7News viewer has recognized the man who allegedly attacked him in Miami Beach as the same person who stands accused of battering an elderly woman over the weekend.
Dr. Israel Wiznitzer said he recognizes the mugshot of Eric Gospodarek from a 7News story that aired Monday night.
“I was watching Channel 7 News, and when they mentioned the perpetrator’s name, it’s like a light bulb went off,” Wiznitzer said.
Gospodarek stands accused of battering a 74-year-old cancer patient on the Lincoln Road Beachwalk, Sunday afternoon.
According to Wiznitzer, Gospodarek’s mugshot got his attention because it is the same individual who allegedly attacked him.
Wiznitzer said he was walking along the Lincoln Road Mall with his wife on April 17 when the suspect pedaled up on his bicycle and had to stop short due to a crowd of pedestrians walking in the mall.
When he said to the suspect he should not ride his bicycle in the mall, Wiznitzer said the suspect punched him in the face without saying a word. The 66-year-old doctor then grabbed his mace.
“I sprayed him in the face,” he said. “Sprayed him again. He staggered away. We called the police.”
The pepper spray disabled the 6-foot, 2-inch alleged assailant before he was arrested.
“Lincoln Road was never a war zone,” Deborah Wiznitzer, the doctor’s wife, said. “It was never one of these places of great danger.”
However, after their mid-April walk, Deborah said she is not sure about her safety on Lincoln Road anymore.
“It was totally frightening,” she said further. “I have never expected this kind of crime to happen in such an amazing neighborhood that I grew up in.”
The couple said they were unaware of their accused attacker’s criminal history and decided not to move forward with the case.
In court, it was revealed Gospodarek has previous criminal history in Pennsylvania.
“This man has actually been arrested previously for battering an elderly individual,” Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said on Monday.
The Wiznitzer family said they hope their case will be reopened.
“It’s very frightening to allow somebody who has this kind of record from his hometown to roam loose and torment,” Deborah said.
Gospodarek remains jailed at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $11,000 bond.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said the refiling process on Gospodarek has started, and they said they are aware of the Wiznitzer’s story and are looking into the matter.
Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.