Andrew Pestano

Suspect Arrested for ‘Unprovoked' Face Punch of Miami Restaurant Cook

"He destroyed me," the victim said

What to Know

  • The attack captured on camera occurred Feb. 10 in a Miami restaurant.
  • The victim said witnesses told him the man used homophobic slurs during the incident.
  • The suspect told police he punched the victim because he laughed at him and made a disrespectful comment.

The man caught on camera punching a Miami restaurant worker in the face has been arrested, according to Miami police.

A restaurant surveillance camera captured the moment a man swiftly approached Bardales and punched him in the face in front of several witnesses.

The powerful punch occurred in the Mi Tierra restaurant, located at 2772 SW 8th St., on Feb. 10.

Maykol Miranda, 31, turned himself in on Monday, according to the City of Miami Police Department.

Nelson Bardales, who is Honduran and works as a chef, told NBC 6's partner station Telemundo 51 he was assaulted by a "homophobic" client.

"What he did to me does not have a name – he destroyed me. I have a fracture in my nose and in the cheekbone," Bardales said.

According to an arrest report, Miranda told police he was drinking at the restaurant's bar with friends when he noticed Bardales laughing at him.

Miranda told police that he asked Bardales why he was laughing. According to Miranda's account of the incident on the arrest report, Bardales replied with "Why do you care, nasty black?"

Miranda got upset, walked behind the bar, punched Bardales in the face and left the establishment, he told police.

Bardales, who decided to stay after his shift for drinks with friends while waiting for a ride home, lost consciousness due to the heavy punch, according to the arrest report.

"He came and hit me and I was in shock, I remember losing" my thoughts, Bardales said.

Miami police said it reviewed video evidence and interviewed Miranda, Bardales and other witnesses before making an arrest on the "unprovoked" attack. He faces a felony battery charge.

Bardales said his co-workers told him his attacker called him "disgraceful, disgusting" and several homophobic offenses.

"He thought I was staring at him and for being gay he comes to hit me. It hurts me as a homosexual that there are many macho people in a diverse world," Bardales said.

A witness who works at the restaurant told police she has known Miranda for about six months because he is a frequent client and he is a co-worker's boyfriend.

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