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Suspect in social distancing attack at Florida Publix turns himself in, police say

Elderly man punched in parking lot

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. – A man accused of punching an elderly shopper after a coronavirus social distancing confrontation at a Florida Publix has turned himself in to authorities, according to the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department.

Officers distributed video Monday of a man wanted in connection with the attack and the woman he was with at the store on South Atlantic Avenue.

The 75-year-old victim, who recently had a heart stent placed, said he was in the checkout line Sunday afternoon when a woman got closer to him than the suggested social distancing markings, so he asked her to take a few steps back and she did, according to the report.

There was no further conversation between the victim and the woman.

❕UPDATE 8/26/2020: Peter Capozzi (DOB 02/09/1961) was arrested at his home in Ponce Inlet for battery on a person 65...

Posted by Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety on Monday, August 24, 2020

Police said as the victim was in the parking lot, a man in his 30s approached and told him, “You (expletive) redneck gator, how dare you?” then told the victim he was holding up the line and punched the victim in the chest, causing the elderly man to fall and hit his head on the asphalt.

Records show the man stood over the victim as he was on the ground and told him, “One word and I’ll kill you.”

As the assailant left the parking lot in a late-model Cadillac, the victim noticed that the woman he spoke to in line was in the passenger’s seat, according to the report.

Police said Tuesday afternoon that both the man and the woman in the video had turned themselves in but authorities are still looking for any witnesses to come forward.

As of now, no charges have been filed but authorities said Monday that the culprit could face a charge aggravated battery on the elderly.

The names of the man and woman involved have not been released. Police said as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the man is cooperating with the investigation and still has not been charged but remains a suspect in the case.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department at 386-763-5347.


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