A male model from Miami Springs has been charged with second degree murder after allegedly attacking and killing a homeless man at a gas station.
Surveillance footage shows 32-year-old Hivo Gonzalez getting into an argument with a homeless man by the name of Pedro Cruz after he stopped to get gas with a friend on the way to go fishing.
The altercation reportedly began after 49-year-old Cruz begged Gonzalez for money, but was refused. The footage then goes on to show Gonzalez taking a heavy fish bat from his pick-up truck before chasing Cruz with it.
Gonzalez can then be seen allegedly hitting Cruz twice on the head with the bat, before running to his car and driving off with his friend. Cruz can be seen lying on the ground, unmoving. He died later at a Miami hospital as a result of his injuries.
After driving off with his boat in tow, Gonzalez was arrested by officers the next day at the Pelican Harbor marina.
Detectives were also able to recover the fish bat; a tool used by anglers to club large fish after reeling them in.
According to the arrest report from Miami police, Gonzalez ‘did not call 911, and did not render aid to the victim’.
Gonzalez claimed he had feared for his life, believing Cruz would attack him unless he made the first move. If convicted, Gonzalez faces a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.
According to the Miami Herald, Gonzalez’s defence lawyer H. Scott Fingerhut has claimed Cruz had been shouting repeated threats at Gonzalez after he and his friend refused to give him money.
Fingerhut has also said Gonzalez had been unaware Cruz had been fatally injured.
According to Fingerhut:
This is a really good-natured guy who believed he was put into a life-or-death situation.
We are deeply sorry about what happened to Mr. Cruz. The bottom line: Hivo Gonzalez is no killer.
Hard to believe this ripped Florida fitness model #HivoGonzalez is now accused of beating a homeless man to death with a fish bat for pestering him for money at a gas station. Are people THAT tightly wound these days? pic.twitter.com/9lpqwJbE80
— Gerard Courcy (@hardcorehangout) August 25, 2018
As well as working as a fitness model, Gonzalez runs charter fishing trips and also participates in ‘freestyle calisthenics’ contests; competitions where athletes complete intensive workouts in public places using street signs, bars, benches and playground equipment.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.