Criminal Justice

Grieving father slugs DUI defendant in courthouse bathroom, police say

The father of a man killed by an accused drunk driver has been charged for allegedly punching the defendant in the bathroom of a Florida courthouse.

Juan Gonzalez, 56, of Davie, was arrested Monday on two counts of battery: one for punching the suspect and one for grabbing the throat of the suspect’s friend, who was with him in the bathroom at the time, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Gonzalez’s son Juan Gonzalez Jr. was killed in a 2011 collision with a car driven by John Powers, 54, who has been charged with DUI manslaughter. Police say Powers, who had a blood alcohol level of .15, nearly twice the legal limit, made a U-turn in front of Gonzalez’s motorcycle, which skidded into the side of Power’s car.

Powers was in the courthouse for an arraignment hearing Monday, police said, when Gonzalez followed him into the restroom and struck him several times in the head and face. Police say he also grabbed Power’s friend, Jay Israel, by the throat.

“You killed my son,” Gonzalez reportedly told Powers. “I will be watching you.”

Powers, who emerged from the restroom with blood dripping from his left ear and down his neck, told court officials what had just happened.

Gonzalez was arrested as he tried to leave the courthouse.

Updated on Dec. 12 to adjust the wording of the charges.

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