Miami Beach police search for woman behind unprovoked attack on beachside tourist

The victim says she was lying in the sun, falling asleep on the sand when she was suddenly being punched by someone she had never met and for absolutely no good reason.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A tourist from Houston relaxing on Miami Beach says she was the victim of an unprovoked attack on Tuesday.

The victim says she was lying in the sun, falling asleep on the sand when she was suddenly punched by someone she had never met and, she said, for absolutely no good reason.

DeAnna Anderson is in town from Houston, visiting a friend who lives in Miami.

“It’s just unfortunate that this kind of violence has happened,” she said.

On Tuesday, Anderson and her friend were sitting under an umbrella at South Pointe Beach when a woman nearby started shouting at her.

“I didn’t really even notice this woman. She was facing the beach so her back was to us the whole time and she just turned,” Anderson said.

The woman yelled some things in Spanish but Anderson said she didn’t think anything of it until the woman walked over and started getting aggressive.

“She sort of pushed on me a little bit, trying to start a fight,” Anderson said.

After a few seconds, the woman, who Anderson said appeared to be intoxicated, walked back to her chair. Anderson and her friend moved away from her to another spot nearby.

But then, right after Anderson says she drifted off to nap in the sun, the woman came back and started physically attacking her.

Cellphone video shows a man working nearby running over and pulling the woman away. During the encounter, the woman called Anderson homophobic slurs and commented on her short haircut, but by the time police got there, the woman and the man she was with were gone.

“The point is that she thought what she thought and based on those hateful thoughts, took action on it,” Anderson said. “That kind of thing I think needs to be talked about.”

Police are actively searching for the woman, who could face a battery charge.

As for Anderson, she says she’s just trying to enjoy the rest of her trip before heading back home on Thursday.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.