Keith Kirk, accused bike thief, gets 'street justice,' bloody beatdown

A 30-year-old man was tackled and received blows to the face, but he's no crime victim, Fort Lauderdale police say.

Keith Kirk appeared in court Thursday with blackened, swollen eyes and stitches between the brows. He is accused of stealing a bicycle about noon Wednesday outside the One Stop Food Mart at 18 NW First Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.

The beatdown was delivered by the bike's owner, Calvin McDougal of Lauderhill, according to a police report. The two men got into a fight when McDougal chased after Kirk to retrieve his $600 bicycle.

"I believe there was a little bit more than just a tackle," Broward County Judge John "Jay" Hurley said Thursday during Kirk's hearing in first appearance court. "Now, sir, you allegedly steal someone's bike and it looks like there was some street justice carried out."

Kirk was charged with grand theft and released on his own recognizance.

After Kirk left the podium, Hurley wondered aloud from the bench: "Did you notice how the guy who owned the bike didn't get arrested?"

According to the police report, McDougal chased after Kirk, who was seen taking his bicycle, and got into a physical altercation with him. Kirk was transported to Broward Health Medical Center for medical clearance.

It is unclear whether McDougal was injured during the fight.

Detectives interviewed Kirk at the hospital, where he admitted stealing the bicycle, police said.

"Mr. McDougal was a victim making a citizen's arrest and was not arrested," said Detective DeAnna Garcia in an email.

Florida law allows citizens to detain someone who is believed to have committed a felony until police arrive. But police advise that crime victims leave the crimefighting to them.

At the food mart Thursday, employees said McDougal was keeping close watch of his bike and darted out while waiting in the cashier's line when he noticed it was no longer there.

Afterwards, some customers brought their own bikes inside the store while they shopped.

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