Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

A suspect may face hate-crime charges after being arrested for slapping a Jewish man in the face at a resort hotel in Aventura, Fla., reported Local 10 News. [Video at link]

Marcos Rodriguez was caught on video hitting Alain Altit on Sunday as they stood by the children’s pool of the resort water park Tidal Cove, part of the J.W. Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa.

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Aventura police said Rodriguez’s wife called a woman at the water park a “dirty Jew.” Tanya Cohen, the victim’s wife, told Local 10 News she thinks Rodriguez’s wife made the remark after her towel got wet from Cohen’s bathing suit.

Police said when Altit confronted Rodriguez about the comment, he got slapped in front of his wife and five children. The person who took the video on a cell phone yelled, “I got it, I got it,” referring to filming the assault. Rodriguez was later arrested and taken to jail.

Maj. Michael Bentolila with Aventura Police Department said “we take any threat to anyone seriously, especially if it has to do with race, ethnicity—anything along those lines. If our investigation leads us any further, there could be an enhanced hate crime.”

As reported, Cohen said “the guy was definitely trying to pick a fight with a Jew. We are in 2021. This shouldn’t be happening anymore. In 2021, there is no room for anti-Semitism.”

The Anti-Defamation League’s Florida office stated that it was outraged by the incident.

“We are deeply disturbed by the report of this incident in Aventura. #Antisemitism should never be tolerated. Calling someone a ‘dirty Jew’ is reprehensible. We urge @AventuraPolice to continue to investigate this as a possible #hatecrime.”

With an estimated 650,000 Jewish residents, Southeast Florida is home to the largest Jewish population in the United States after the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas.

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