Convicted felon accused of attacking Fort Lauderdale man for being gay

James Garcia said he was walking his dog on Sunday morning in Fort Lauderdale when a man he had never seen before approached him and asked him if he was gay.

Garcia said that after responding in the affirmative the man savagely beat him. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department arrested Maurice Antwan Charles on Tuesday for the attack.

“He punched me really hard. I fell to the ground bleeding,” Garcia said. “My phone was covered in blood. I couldn’t call 911. My fingers kept slipping.”

The Florida Department of Corrections released Charles, 36, who is also known as “Big Jit” and “Big Youngster,” from prison on Dec. 14, 2021, records show.

The Florida Department of Correction released Maurice Antwan Charles from prison in December.

Charles was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 2017 in Miami-Dade County. His registered address was in Miami Gardens.

The attack on Saturday was near State Road A1A and Oakland Park Boulevard. Garcia suffered two fractures on cartilage. He required 10 stitches.

Charles is facing an aggravated battery charge. Detectives are still investigating the case, so it is still unclear if Broward prosecutors will be charging him with a hate crime.

Afternoon report

James Garcia said he was walking his dog when a man approached him and asked him if he was gay. Read More


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