Police in Winter Park, Florida, said a 70-year-old man was beaten last week after asking a fellow store customer who wasn’t wearing a mask to socially distance, WOFL-TV reported.
What are the details?
Police told the station the incident erupted after the victim asked Rovester Ingram to move away from him because Ingram wasn’t wearing a mask.
Mohamed Tutul — who works at the Citgo gas station where Tuesday’s incident occurred — told WOFL the suspect and victim are both “regular customers.”
Tutul noted to the station that the pair began arguing at the counter. The suspect was “mad” and reacted to the victim’s request by saying, “I come in here every day. Why are you telling me 6 feet?”
Investigators told WOFL the victim walked out of the store, and Ingram followed. Outside the store, Ingram started punching the victim in the face, the New York Post reported, citing police. But when the victim re-entered the store, Ingram began punching and kicking him, the station said.
At that point, Tutul told WOFL he called police.
Surveillance video appears to show the suspect dragging the victim back outside the store by his hair, the station said.
Outside the store, the victim “was on his stomach as Ingram repeatedly punched him on his back, then spat on him and kicked him in the head before walking away,” police told WOFL.
A third customer can be seen exiting the store and walking right by as the beating winds down.
What happened next?
The victim was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, including broken bones, the station said.
Officers told WOFL they recognized Ingram from the surveillance video and arrested him at his home. The station said Ingram was charged with kidnapping and aggravated battery on a person over 65 years of age.
A similar incident occurred earlier this summer in New Jersey when a Staples customer was caught on video throwing another woman — who was using a cane — to the floor after the victim told her to socially distance because she wasn’t correctly wearing her mask over her nose.
In the July incident, the 54-year-old victim suffered a broken leg — and video shows the assailant casually flipping her hair off her shoulder and proceeding with her business in the Hackensack Staples.