Man dead, another injured in attack at Deerfield Beach construction site

Deputies say suspect struck victim with crowbar

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Broward Sheriff's Office homicide detectives are investigating after a man died and another man was injured at a construction site in Deerfield Beach.

BSO spokeswoman Gina Carter said homicide detectives are investigating the attack that happened just before 9 a.m. at 700 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

Carter said the victim, identified as Arcenio Alvarez, 32, died shortly after the attack at Broward Health North. The accused killer, Jonathan Schuler, 32, of Palm Beach County, was also taken to Broward Health North.

"It is unclear at this point what provoked the attack from a co-worker, and it is also unclear whether these two men really knew each other," Carter said.

Carter said the men worked for different companies. Alvarez was employed by N&P Demolition, a subcontractor on the site and Schuler was a day laborer who was contracted only for the day.

"It doesn't appear that there was a fight between the two men, but this is something that the detectives are going to obviously determine -- what prompted the attack (and) why did this even happen?" Carter said.

Detectives believe that Schuler fatally struck Alvarez with a metal crowbar, although witnesses said they saw the aggressor holding an ax.

Jonathan Schuler, 32, is accused of fatally attacking a fellow construction worker with a crowbar.
Jonathan Schuler, 32, is accused of fatally attacking a fellow construction worker with a crowbar.

Orrin Scott, who witnessed the incident, said he saw two men with a crowbar chasing another man who was holding an ax.

"I just heard a lot of hollering, and the guy with the ax was doing most of the hollering," he said. "It was two (workers) with a crowbar and one with an ax, and they were chasing someone. I was telling my wife and the other lady, 'Let's just go in the back right there,' and we took off running to the back."

According to a construction worker who witnessed the incident, the attack was unprovoked. Although detectives believe the victim was struck with a crowbar, the witness said he believes that the victim was struck twice in the head with the ax.

The man said the incident happened on the second floor of an office building where the construction crew was brought in for a demolition and renovation project.

The worker said the man with the ax tried to run away after the attack and was chased by two other construction workers who were holding crowbars.

Schuler was taken to the hospital for various medical issues, including symptoms of having an elevated blood pressure.

Investigators are questioning each worker individually and deputies are keeping guard on the suspect at the hospital.

Schuler has two prior arrests in Broward County. He was arrested in 2006 for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, failure to display vehicle registration, violation of driver's license restrictions, resisting arrest without violence, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of MDMA with intent to sell and possession of cannabis.

He was arrested in 2008 for allegedly violating his probation.

Anyone with further information about the attack is asked to call Detective John Curcio at 954-321-4212 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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