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Fort Lauderdale police investigate possible hate crime outside The Floridian restaurant

Fort Lauderdale Police news release:





The suspect was last seen in a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, possibly from 2002-2003. The truck is green in color and contains a bed cover with a roll bar. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 35 years of age, 5’10, and 165 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans with a beige shirt.


The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is investigating a battery that occurred on 02/23/2008 at approximately 3:00 A.M. This battery occurred at 1410 East Las Olas Boulevard, “The Floridian Restaurant”. Detectives are also looking into the possibility that this may have been a hate crime.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim, Melbourne Brunner, a Fort Lauderdale resident, W/M, 01/09/1971 was sitting outside of a business with his friend. A suspect approached Brunner and made several derogatory comments and gestures towards Brunner and his friend.

Brunner attempted to walk away from this unknown suspect and enter his vehicle. The suspect then grabbed Brunner’s vehicle door. Brunner attempted to enter his vehicle, but was struck several times with closed fists from the suspect. As a result, Brunner fell to the ground and struck his head. Brunner’s friend attempted to obtain the suspect’s tag information. As the friend approached the vehicle, the suspect stated, “I’ll kill you before you get my tag number!” Brunner and his friend then left the location and drove themselves to the hospital.

Police were dispatched to the restaurant and the hospital to make contact with Brunner on the date of the incident. Contact was not established as Brunner had already left both locations prior to officer’s arrival. Brunner did suffer severe bruising, but did not have any broken bones or permanent injury.

Anyone who may have witnessed this Battery or who knows the identity of the attacker is encouraged to contact Detective Robyn Christophers 954-828-6558 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.


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