Coconut Creek man accused of striking neighbor with car

Ben Siegel, whose home was recently defaced, arrested after alleged attack

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Sanela Sabovic - Reporter

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. - A Coconut Creek man was arrested Sunday after he drove his sports car onto a sidewalk and struck a neighbor, police said.

Ben Siegel faces charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Coconut Creek police said Siegel intentionally struck Robert Hernandez with his green Dodge Viper, injuring his neighbor's ankle.

"I didn't see it coming," Hernandez told Local 10 News on Monday.  

Siegel made headlines last week after a swastika and messages of hate were scrawled in red spray paint on another one of his cars and the door of his garage. Siegel told Local 10 News he believed another neighbor, Brandon Kittendorf, who is also Hernandez's brother-in law, was responsible, but Kittendorf denied any involvement and said Siegel did it himself.

"All of the sudden, there's hate crime written all across his property and conveniently a banner with my name and my face on it. The guy has problems. He did it himself," Kittendorf said. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, Hernandez said he was walking along Northwest 49th Avenue when he heard a car rev its engine and then heard Siegel, who was driving, yell, "You're dead."

Police said Siegel struck Hernandez from behind with his car and then drove home.

"Yesterday, he took it to the extreme. Apparently, he used me to get to my brother-in-law," Hernandez said.  

A witness told police that he heard a car revving its engine and saw a green Viper hit Hernandez and keep going. The witness said he watched the Viper pull into the garage of Siegel's home and then saw Siegel come back outside, look down the street and walk inside his house.

Hernandez identified Siegel, who lives across the street from him, as the driver who struck him with the Viper. Police arrested Siegel at his home.

According to the affidavit, Siegel also spat on an officer twice while he was in custody at the Coconut Creek Police Department.

Hernandez told Local 10 News that he was stunned by Siegel's actions because he's never exchanged words with him before.

"He was acting like he was trying to make a U-turn, and that's when he came out and said, 'You're dead,'" Hernandez said. "And he smiles at me -- like, literally smiles at me after he said that. I'm smirking at him like, 'Dude. I'm just trying to get home.' Seconds later, he backs his car up, pulls forward and got on the sidewalk and hit me."

Hernandez said Siegel's issues with his brother-in-law have to do with a business deal that went south.  

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