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Gay security guard says he fears another attack by assailant who struck him in head during hate crime

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

A gay Davie man says he's suffering bad headaches and cannot see well after a hate-crime beating he suffered Monday afternoon outside a CVS Pharmacy.

"I’m not doing too well at the moment," Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 46, said Thursday afternoon.

Police say Rodriguez knew his assailant, John William Koontz, 62, who punched and kicked him outside the drugstore at 2920 Davie Rd.

Koontz and Rodriguez live in the same neighborhood, Everglades Mobile Home Park, where Rodriguez is also an entrance-gate security guard.

"It’s been an ongoing problem," said Rodriguez, adding that he had reported Koontz to park management several times for minor incidents. "He didn’t like that I reported it."

Rodriguez told investigators that for some time Koontz has verbally attacked him. "The defendant consistently makes prejudiced remarks directed towards the victim regarding his sexual orientation calling him names such as 'f---ing faggot, queer, and homo,'" according to the Davie police report.

About 4:30 p.m. Monday, Koontz approached Rodriguez outside the CVS.

"I saw someone pull up on a bike," Rodriguez said.

At first, Rodriguez didn't recognize Koontz. "When I last saw him and we were having problems, he had long hair and he was messed up," Rodriguez said. "This time he was cleaned up. I figured out why: He had a court hearing last week."

Rodriguez said he was stunned by a sudden blow to the head. "The first punch crushed the glasses on my left eye. He was still punching, kicking, punching, kicking. I knew he was yelling, but I was just trying to block things."

According to witnesses, Koontz shouted: "See, I knew I would get you, you f---ing faggot."

Koontz hit Rodriguez "multiple times in his facial area causing the victim to fall onto the ground unable to defend himself," according to the police report. "The defendant straddled the victim and continued to punch the victim's motionless body and kick his face while simultaneously yelling 'you queer' and other prejudiced remarks."

Rodriguez stumbled inside the store and collapsed near the cashier's counter.

Two witnesses, Miguel Smith and Wayne Isaacs, who both work for CVS, called police.

Police say Koontz declined to speak with investigators. Already on probation for marijuana possession, he is charged with aggravated battery and a hate crime.

Koontz is being held on $50,000 bond at Broward County Jail.

In the long-term, Rodriguez says he fears for his safety if Koontz is released from jail."If he gets out,he'll try it again."

For now, though, Rodriguez is most concerned about replacing his bifocals, which were smashed during the beating.

"I don’t have the cash for it," he said. "I’m not begging for money. I don’t want a handout. I just want glasses so I can work."


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