‘God sent me back’: Victim of brutal North Miami gym attack relives incident nearly a year later

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – For the first time, a South Florida man is telling his story nearly a year after he was viciously attacked while working out at a gym.

Video shows Laventures Thermidor on the ab machine at LA Fitness located at 1801 NE 123rd St. in North Miami. Moments later, his skull was crushed after police said an employee at the gym hit him over the head with a pull-down bar.

“He didn’t just hit me and run. He hit me, he spit on me and he kicked me,” said Thermidor.

Days before, Thermidor said he had a minor disagreement with then-LA Fitness employee Kristian Rawlins. He believes Rawlins was waiting for him and said his survival is a miracle.

“That night, God sent me back,” Thermidor said.

Gym goers used paper towels to try and stop the bleeding.

“Everybody that night that provided water, towels, they tried to keep life in me,” he said.

The gym attack happened on June 28.

“People told me he was tip-toeing behind me,” he said.

Rawlins was arrested in Orlando two months later and is facing an attempted second degree murder charge.

Thermidor is a father of three.

“I love my dad a lot,” said Rilegh Thermidor, the victim’s daughter.

The family is just grateful they have each other.

“God told me my work is not done, I had to come back,” Thermidor said.

The family has created a GoFundMe page to help with expenses, and it can be found by clicking here.

About the Author:

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