Man charged after punching valet attendant in Fort Lauderdale

It costs $18 for valet parking at the Ocean Sky Resort.

That cost angered John Henry Kiernan when he visited the resort on July 25.

In fact, he insisted he wouldn’t pay after being told it would be an additional $18 for his friend to park her vehicle at the hotel, Fort Lauderdale police said.

The situation then turned violent.

Kiernan, 37, punched a valet attendant, Rodolfo Rodriguez, in the face and knocked him down. 

It was an attack, police said, that was without cause or provocation. He’s since been arrested on a charge of battery causing bodily harm.

Police records show that Kiernan wasn’t happy with the parking price and then demanded that Rodriguez give him his name.

When Rodriguez refused to comply, Kiernan punched the victim in the face causing him to become unconscious and fall onto the concrete pavement, police said.

Witnesses and surveillance video from the hotel corroborated the victim’s account.

Kiernan’s account of the incident is that he punched Rodriguez because during their interaction

Rodriguez had “jammed his hand into his pocket,” a move Kiernan said made him fearful, according to a police report. 

He also told police that he thought Rodriguez had a weapon on him. After Rodriguez had been knocked out. Kiernan checked him for weapons.

Rodriguez didn’t have any on him.

Kiernan also told police that he was a boxer and referred to striking Rodriguez on the "sweet spot," which is a term using for the chin of an opponent.

He also told police that he had problems with Rodriguez in the past and that the attendant had made an aggressive comment prior to the punch.

Kiernan was then asked by police if he felt that Rodriguez had any issues speaking English, a police report said.

He said no.

Kiernan was then told by police that Rodriguez barely spoke any English, the report said, and at that point Kiernan responded by saying he’d worked in a heavily Hispanic area in the past.

The report went on to say that Kiernan claimed to only of had one beer during the night and that he was not intoxicated.

Rodriguez – who is now back on the job -- was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where he was treated after the punch that knocked him unconscious.

He has since retained an attorney in hopes that it will speed up the investigation and is looking into filing a civil lawsuit.

Rodriguez’s attorney, David Kubiliun, said that his client now suffers headaches and jaw pain due to the incident.  

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.