AVENTURA, Fla. – A physical assault at the pool of a South Florida resort hotel was caught on camera, and the suspect may face hate charges.
It happened on Sunday at the J.W. Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa in Aventura.
The suspect, Marcos Rodriguez, can be seen in the video slapping the victim, Alain Altit, in the face as they stood by the children’s pool area of the hotel’s resort water park, Tidal Cove.
According to Aventura police, Rodriguez’s wife called a woman at the water park a “dirty Jew.”
Tanya Cohen, the victim’s wife, told Local 10 News that she believes some of the water from her bathing suit fell on the woman’s towel.
When Altit confronted Rodriguez, that’s when police said he got slapped in front of his wife and five children.
His wife can be seen in the video.
“The guy was definitely trying to pick a fight with a Jew,” she said. “We are in 2021. This shouldn’t be happening anymore.”
She added: “There’s no room for anti-Semitism. It’s enough.”
Major Michael Bentolila with Aventura police spoke with Local 10 News about the incident.
“We take any threat to anyone seriously, especially if it has to do with race, ethnicity, anything along those lines,” Bentolila said.
The person who took the video started yelling, “I got it, I got it,” after the slap.
“If our investigation leads us any further, there could be an enhanced hate crime,” Bentolila said.
Rodriguez told police Altit threatened him, and that’s why he slapped him.
The video and witnesses told a different story, however, and it was Rodriguez who was arrested and taken to jail.
“In 2021, there is no room for anti-Semitism,” Cohen said.