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Ocean Sky Hotel & Resort asks why ex-officer wasn't arrested for punching valet

Posted at 4:08 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 10:36:21-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida hotel manager is questioning why a former police officer has not been arrested for punching and knocking out a valet parking attendant during a dispute over an $18 charge.

Ocean Sky Hotel & Resort manager Nigel Blair said Monday that it makes no sense that Fort Lauderdale police did not arrest 37-year-old John Kiernan of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, at the scene.

Security video shows valet Rodolpho Rodriguez with his hands in his pockets early last week as an animated Kiernan suddenly punches him in the jaw, knocking him out.

Police spokeswoman Tracy Figone said Monday that the investigation remains open. She said the video wasn't immediately available to officers.

Kiernan did not return a call or email Monday seeking comment. He told WTVJ-TV that Rodriguez threatened him.

 In a statementreleased Monday, Chief Rick Maglione said the suspect in the case is "identified" and "should be prosecuted."

Fort Lauderdale police said their investigation is complete and they have submitted it to the State Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to charge Kiernan. 

Chief Maglione also disputed claims that the 37-year-old was given preferential treatment because he was a former cop.

"Mr. Kiernan's present or former employment was not known to the officer on the scene and had no impact on this investigation," said Chief Maglione.

Information from NBC 6 was used in this report.