A Florida man who punched a 12-year-old boy in the face and knocked out is two front teeth claimed that he acted in self-defense.
Vincent Cerfalo, 27, said that he had gone outside to tell a group of kids blocking traffic near his home that they needed to leave when the kids surrounded him, and he felt he had to defend himself.
“They said, ‘you won’t hit us, you won’t hit us,’ and they started to surround me,” he told Fox 4.
He went on to claim that one of the kids “touched” him, and that was when he hit 12-year-old Malikai Villatte.
“I lifted my hand out, and I ended up hitting him,” he said. “It was not my intention to hit anybody that hard. It was not my intention to knock teeth out or do harm, or cause any kind of trouble.”
However, Malikai disputed that account, claiming that none of them had touched Cerfalo and that the man was using racial slurs in the altercation.
“He came down to the middle of his yard, and I was like, ‘who are you talking to,’ and he said, ‘come within arm’s reach and I’ll show you who I’m talking to,’” Malikai told Fox 4.
“When I realized my teeth were dangling in my mouth it was kind of shocking,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has said that a detective on the scene determined that one of the juveniles was responsible for the altercation.
“Due to conflicting witness statements, it was determined the best course of action was to send the complete report to the State Attorney’s Office for review,” the statement posted to the department’s Facebook page read. “The reporting deputy further requested the State Attorney approves a summons request for one of the juveniles on a charge of assault.”
Deputies are still reviewing evidence to determined if anyone will be charged in relation to the incident.