Daniel Amato: Documents reveal troubled past for suspect in Wellington gym beating

Amato was arrested for Miami-Dade County assault

WELLINGTON, Fla. - ‪Hours before investigators said Daniel Amato brutally smashed the face of Wellington gym instructor John Szarszewski, Amato's estranged wife filed a restraining order against him.

Court documents reveal the woman was concerned about her life and the lives of their children.

"I have tried to get a restraining order three times because I'm in fear of my life," she wrote.

She also told a judge, "He has threatened to break in and kill me."

Records show three other different alleged incidents of domestic violence involving Amato.

In the most recent injunction filing, Amato's estranged wife references his alleged drug use and mood swings.

"I am begging the judge on my hands and knees to please protect me and my children. I have a feeling that after this last incident I am next," she wrote.

Amato was denied bond on Monday after investigators said he entered a Hard Exercise Works gym and attacked Szarszewski with a five-pound metal weight-lifting plate, striking the victim in the face.

A week before Amato was arrested as a suspect in a similar assault in Miami-Dade County.

An affidavit details how Amato blocked in a family at an Aventura Pancake House while they tried to back out of a parking spot.

When the family got out of their car, investigators said Amato began arguing with the driver. They said Amato Maced them with pepper spray and then began beating the driver with a billy club.

The affidavit reveals a witness followed Amato and called 911. When investigators arrested Amato, they found a shotgun in his trunk with several rounds of ammunition.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said he is aware of Amato's past and that's why prosecutors pushed so hard for a judge to deny bond for the suspect.

The family of the victim said Szarszewski was released from the hospital to began his long road to recovery at home.

"Just in shock. I don't understand how anyone could be so mean," said Alexis Hernandez, who is a close family friend. "It's really bad. A plate literally hit his face."

While Szarszewski is resting at home, he is far from recovered and faces several intensive facial operations.

"I just know that he hit the wrong person and messed with the wrong family," said Hernandez.

What is helping him is all of the support and Superman shirts worn for the man so many are calling "Superman John."
"I actually showed him a picture. He was able to put his glasses on and look at them and he was just in awe," said Hernandez. "He didn't even know what to say. He was at a loss for words. Gave him the chills."

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