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Fort Lauderdale Police Say Suspect Should Be ‘Prosecuted' in Valet Beatdown

Fort Lauderdale Police Department weighed in on surveillance video that showed a former police officer sucker punching a valet at a popular resort last week.

The incident happened July 25 at the Ocean Sky Hotel & Resort on 4060 Galt Ocean Drive. The hotel manager and the injured valet were outraged and demanded justice.

In a statement released Monday, Chief Rick Maglione said the suspect in the case is "identified" and "should be prosecuted."

Video shows valet Rudolph Rodriguez having a conversation with hotel guest John Henry Kiernan in the resort's driveway. Suddenly, Kiernan punched Rodriguez in the face, knocking him to the ground.

The two men were disputing an $18 valet charge. Rodriguez said Kiernan was upset over the charge, but Kiernan said he was charged for another person's vehicle. The former law enforcement officer also claimed the valet told him he wanted to fight.

Chief Maglione said when they responded to the scene, the victim had no visible injuries and that the victim did not make a statement until Saturday. Police also said the video was not made available to them until the next morning.

Fort Lauderdale police said their investigation is complete and they have submitted it to the State Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to charge Kiernan.

Chief Maglione also disputed claims that the 37-year-old was given preferential treatment because he was a former cop. 

"Mr. Kiernan's present or former employment was not known to the officer on the scene and had no impact on this investigation," said Chief Maglione.

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