AVENTURA, Fla. – The shocking video that first aired exclusively on Local 10 News has since been seen internationally, making headlines from South Florida to Israel.
In the video, a father of six is slapped in the face while at a hotel pool with his family, an incident that police are investigating as a possible hate crime.
The wife of that man, Tanya Cohen, first shared her story Monday.
A day later, her husband, Alain Altit, the person being struck in the video, also decided to speak about what happened.
“It’s really unbelievable I resisted,” he said. “When I see my children, my wife, pulling me back, it made me understand I didn’t need to act like an animal.”
The family was spending the weekend at the J.W. Marriott Turnberry Resort in Aventura.
Altit said he was standing up for a woman who was called a “dirty Jew” and was slapped by Marco Rodriguez, who was arrested on a simple battery charge.
The Florida region of the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement regarding the incident.
“We are deeply disturbed by the report of this incident in Aventura. #Antisemitism should never be tolerated. Calling someone a ‘dirty Jew’ is reprehensible. We urge @AventuraPolice to continue to investigate this as a possible #hatecrime.”
Major Michael Bentolila with Aventura police told Local 10 News that the department is actively investigating.
“If our investigation leads us any further, there could be an enhanced hate crime,” he said.
Rodriguez told police that Altit threatened him, and that’s why he slapped him.
After viewing the video and speaking to witnesses, police didn’t see it that way and placed Rodriguez under arrest.
“At the end of the day, it’s the hatred to the Jewish people and it’s so sad,” Cohen said.
Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos went to Rodriguez’s home to learn more about the violent encounter.
No one came to the door, but neighbors were shocked to hear of the disturbing allegations.