We know without asking that no one likes to pay for parking, but since we know that most people aren’t going to react by knocking out an employee who wasn’t responsible for the fee, we have to ask: what would you have done?
The alarming assault, launched by a man who later said he was a former cop in the Atlanta area and a former DEA agent, happened over an $18 parking dispute.
John Henry Kiernan, 37, has been identified as the attacker. He was able to leave the scene and still hasn’t been charged. Right now, it looks like he will be charged with misdemeanor battery, but that ball is in the court of the State Attorney’s Office.
Apparent complaints began when the attacker’s wife approached valet Rodolfo Rodriguez’s work station and didn’t get the answer she was looking for on the parking situation.
Kiernan, who lives in Florida, claimed to NBC Miami that Rodriguez disrespected him and his wife in front of his kids.
“I guess he finally got irritated and looked at me and said ‘you are going to fight me,'” Kiernan said, saying his life experience told him Rodriquez was a possible threat. “Based on everything I have dealt with in my life […] and based on his body language, the way he spoke to me, I did feel he was going to go to physical contact. I didn’t know if the guy had a weapon on him. So as soon as he said that I struck him one time and he went down.”
A hotel valet, possibly armed?
Rodriguez, the man on the other end of the punch, says the last thing he remembers was Kiernan saying, “I’m gonna fight you” and that he was “upset with the price of the parking lot.”
“He upset, upset with the price of the parking lot. He said, ‘I gonna fight you,'” he told CBS Miami. “Knocked out,” he said. “I was five minutes on the ground, and I don’t remember after that.”
Night manager Mark Dyer described Kiernan as “arrogant.” He said that the ticked off customer referenced the fact that his big truck was worth $80,000 and that, because of this, he should not have to pay for parking.
“He was very arrogant. ‘Oh, I have an $80,000 vehicle, why should I have to pay for parking?’” Dyer said. “I’m like, ‘You just punched somebody. You assaulted somebody, and you want to talk about an $80,000 vehicle? I said, ‘What a scumbag.’”
“Could you imagine what could have happened to [Rodriguez]?” he continued, while also criticizing authorities for taking 15 minutes to arrive. “He could have had a brain hemorrhage. His eyes were rolling into the back of his head.”
“Nobody should be attacked like that,” Dyer said. “Nobody should go through the pain and suffering that Rodolfo’s going through. It’s a savage attack.”
The manager said he spoke with Kiernan after the knockout punch, and Kiernan said that he was a former cop in the Atlanta area and a former DEA agent.