MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A suspect accused of attacking three men wearing yarmulkes in Miami Beach is a sex offender from New York, police said.
Miami Beach police said Leroy Jennings, 32, was arrested Thursday after he attacked the men with a rock at a kosher Dunkin' shop on West 41st Street.
Police said Jennings initially faced three counts of battery on a person 65 or older and one count of resisting arrest without violence. He now faces an additional charge of failure to register as a sex offender, as required by law in Florida.
Michael Lefkowitz, one of the victims, said he's "grateful to God" that he and his friends weren't seriously injured.
"People do acts of terrorism, hostile acts, randomly to random people," he told Local 10 News. "I just happened to be a statistic this morning."
Lefkowitz goes to the Dunkin' nearly every day with Paul Goldstein and Jack Levine before their Bible class.
This time, however, Jennings approached them, started asking them questions and then attacked them.
"What I first remember was that my friend Paul was lying on the floor," Lefkowitz said. "He was immobile and I thought he was very seriously hurt. Even though I didn't have my glasses on, I saw my other friend Jack trying to tackle the man, fighting with him, grabbing onto him, and he broke away and fled."
Jennings was eventually found hiding on the roof of a nearby building and taken into custody.
"I intend to press charges and I hope he gets punished to the fullest extent of the law," Lefkowitz said.
It will be up to the state attorney's office to decide if Jennings will be charged with a hate crime.