Model charged after homeless man beat captured in video surveillance



Male model attacks panhandler with the bat

Fitness model fatally strikes a homeless man at a gas station in Miami, Florida.

A Miami model is facing a murder charge after he was captured on video using a bat to beat on a homeless man who later died, police said.

Hivo Rolando Gonzalez, 33, was indicted in the death of Pedro Cruz, who died days after he was struck in the head with a fish bat, WSVN reported.

Gonzalez is accused of beating Cruz, 49, with a fish bat on June 8, after the two got into a heated debate at the Valero gas station in Miami.

In surveillance video released Friday, Gonzalez is seen cleaning his boat, which was firmly tied to his black truck as Cruz, who is homeless, approaches him. They get into a verbal argument until the situation changes physically.

Gonzalez then takes a bat out of his truck and chases Cruz. The Miami model hits Cruz in the head twice before he is back in his truck and flee the scene. The police report listed Gonzalez “do not call 911, and not to render aid to the victim.”

Gonzalez’ lawyer H. Scott Fingerhut told the Miami Herald that his client is “not a killer.”

“This is really a good-natured man who believed that he had been stabbed in a life-or-death situation,” Fingerhut told the newspaper. “We are deeply sorry about what happened to Mr. Cruz. The bottom line: Hivo Gonzalez is not a killer.”

Gonzalez is a fitness model, who also runs charter fishing trips, the Miami Herald reported. A fish bat is typically used to topics fishing game.

Prior to his death, Cruz was arrested more than a dozen times for charges that included aggressive panhandling, the Miami Herald reported.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam

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