LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A man with autism known to the community as the "Minneola Superhero" was attacked Thursday by a 26-year-old man who told deputies he wanted to "fight with Superman," the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.
A deputy responded to a battery call at the 7-Eleven on Highway 27 and Washington Street and found the victim, 20-year-old Raeshorn Pitt. The victim, who his friends call Rae, is deaf and usually stands at the same corner waving at people while wearing a Superman costume, according to the report.
The deputy wrote that Pitt is very friendly and has assisted him on multiple calls at the 7-Eleven gas station as a witness.
Pitt has a Facebook fan page, titled "Rae, AKA Minneola Superhero," where he posts pictures with kids and sends encouraging messages to the community.
Pitt wrote on paper to the deputy that a man, later identified at Tyler McCorvey, 26, punched him in the chest, then bashed his head against a vehicle. Nearby witness and family friend, Terra Brady came to Pitt's aid and McCorvey ran off, according to the arrest report.
"I saw him imitating Rae's moves," Brady said."In between imitating him he would hit him for real, that's when Rae turned and walked away from him."
Pitt spends hours a day in his cape on the corner by the 7-Eleven showing off his karate moves, Brady said.
"All day long you hear people honking and waiving and bringing him drinks," she said. "He is an asset to our community."
The suspect was found walking down Pearl Street, deputies said. When asked about the incident, McCorvey said he was trying to fight with Superman and that he challenged him to a fight but did not hurt him, according to the report.
Deputies drove McCorvey back to the 7-Eleven, where Pitt positively identified him as the person who hit him. McCorvey was arrested and taken to the Lake County Jail in Clermont for booking. While at the jail, McCorvey was screaming and crying and dunked his head in a toilet, the deputy wrote in the report.
McCorvey is charged with two counts of simple battery and aggravated abuse on a disabled adult.
News 6 met up with Pitt a day after the attack. He said he plans to still pose as a the superhero of Minneola, but that he is a little scared after the incident.
Pitt's face was cut when the suspect smashed his head into a car, he said.
“If you see this hometown superhero make sure you give him a thumbs up or a nice big wave,” a post to Pitt’s Facebook page reads.
The 7-Eleven where Pitt normally frequents, escorting people across the street and snapping pictures with his fans has agreed to accept get-well cards and small gifts on his behalf until he can pick them up.
"Even though he's hurting ... He's not going to back down from what makes him happy and I know he knows he brings the community a lot of joy," Brady said.
Small items can be dropped off at 101 E. Washington St. in Minneola.