'I am God,' attacker tells victim's roommate during beating

Nicholas Malicoat arrested after 72-year-old man beaten inside Keys home

Nicholas Malicoat, 37, was arrested in connection with the brutal beating of another man at the victim's Florida Keys home.

KEY WEST, Fla. – A 37-year-old Key West man was arrested after severely beating another man at his Florida Keys home and telling the victim's roommate he was "God," according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Nicholas Malicoat was arrested Saturday morning after the attack on Stock Island.

Sheriff's spokesman Adam Linhardt said the 72-year-old victim, Joe Fernandez, suffered severe injuries to his face and had to be airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center.

Fernandez's roommate told a deputy he came home about 9 a.m. after working security overnight at a downtown Key West bar. He said he was lying in his bed when he heard a commotion about 10 a.m. 

When Fernandez's roommate left his room, he found Malicoat on top of Fernandez, punching him, Linhardt said. Fernandez was bleeding profusely from the face and there was blood all over the dining room floor.

After the roommate confronted Malicoat and asked him who he was, Malicoat answered, "I am God," Linhardt said.

The roommate kicked Malicoat off Fernandez and a brief struggle ensued before he chased Malicoat outside, Linhardt said.

Malicoat fled in a Nissan SUV, but Key West police soon located him at his home and arrested him, Linhardt said.

Malicoat was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center because of his elevated heart rate and blood pressure. His knuckles were cut and swollen, Linhardt said.

Fernandez, who remains in stable condition, later confirmed Malicoat as his attacker, Linhardt said.

Malicoat faces battery charges. He declined to speak to detectives.

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