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Homestead Police Searching For Suspect In Brutal Beating

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Police in Homestead are using a surveillance video to track down a suspect accused of brutally punching another man.

At a gas station located at 26790 Southwest 137th Avenue, an unknown person allegedly punched a 51-year old man in the face. The attack was captured on the gas station's video surveillance system.

The suspect then left the gas station, leaving the alleging victim unconscious. The alleged victim reportedly suffered facial fractures.

If located and arrested, the suspect may face one of two charges. He may face aggravated battery charges, which would require proof that he intended to cause the serious bodily harm (the facial fractures). However, since the video essentially shows one punch to the alleged victim's face, the more appropriate charge may be felony battery.

Felony battery - as opposed to aggravated battery - does not require proof that the accused intended to cause the harm. It merely requires proof that a battery occurred (an unwanted touching or striking) and that serious harm or injury resulted.

Felony battery is a third-degree felony. Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony.

Aggravated battery scores 21 months state prison at the bottom of the Florida Criminal Punishment Code. Felony battery, by itself, does not score state prison time.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.