Language Barrier Prompts Man To Beat Homeless Victim With Cane: Police

Yoandri Alba, 30, is being held on $30,000 bond

By Steve Litz
|  Friday, Mar 8, 2013  |  Updated 12:08 AM EDT
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Miami-Dade Corrections

Yoandri Alba, 30

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A 30-year-old old man is in jail on an aggravated battery charge after he allegedly beat a homeless man because he didn't speak Spanish.

About 11 p.m. Wednesday, police said, Yoandri Alba was at a Valero gas station at 10th Avenue and West Flagler Street. He approached a homeless man, and started beating him with his own cane, according to police.

The police report details a savage attack, with Alba repeatedly beating the man until the cane broke.

Alba then started kicking him while he was on the ground, even stomping his head on the sidewalk, the report said.

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Witnesses said Alba walked up the street, and then returned.

“The actual aggressor came back to the scene, and that's when officers immediately took him into custody,” Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The victim was brought in critical condition to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is recuperating. Police have not released his name.

Homeless beatings are not unheard of in South Florida. The most infamous example, caught in a security video, was of Jaques Pierre being battered with a baseball bat by a teenager in Broward County in 2006.

Norris Gaynor was killed in a beating that same night. Several teenagers were convicted in those crimes.

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In this most recent incident, Alba gave a statement to police.

“The guy was talking and saying things to me in English I didn't understand. He went to get up and I grabbed his cane and hit him a few times with it,” Alba said, according to the police report.

He was being held in the Miami-Dade County Jail on $30,000 bond Thursday night, jail records showed. It was not immediately known whether Alba has an attorney.

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