Man arrested in Orlando over vicious attack at gym in North Miami, police say

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A former LA Fitness employee in Miami-Dade County was arrested in Orlando two months after he was accused of using a barbell to hit a gym member over the head, police said.

Major Kessler Brooks, a spokesman for the North Miami Police Department, said detectives identified the man behind the attack at the gym as Kristian Alphonso Rawlins.

Brooks said there were witnesses who saw Rawlins’ rage and rushed to the victim’s aid. He said some used towels to cover the victim’s skull while Fire Rescue personnel arrived.

“He was seriously injured,” Brooks said on Tuesday about the June 28 attack at 1801 NE 123rd St.

Rawlins, 33, fled. Detectives got a warrant to arrest him for the attack. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrested him on the Miami-Dade County warrant on Aug. 31 in Orlando.

“It’s so sad we can’t fix the problem by talking in a different manner,” said a LA Fitness member. “It’s very sad to see it happening here.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office held Rawlins without bond before his extradition. Rawlins is facing charges of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery in Miami-Dade County.

Sandra Crowds, another gym member, talked to Local 10 News after the attack. She was outraged.

“Something like that can’t happen,” Crowds said. “You have to be aware of your surroundings and be prepared.”

Related story: Police seek North Miami gym employee who smashed patron’s skull with metal bar

About the Authors:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.