Just four months after being released from prison, Maurice Antwan Charles is back in custody.

He has a violent criminal history and is now accused of attacking a man in Fort Lauderdale with gay-bashing as a possible motive.

James Garcia told WPLG that he was out walking his dog when a person, identified later as Charles, came up to him and asked if he was gay. Before Garcia could answer, he said Charles violently punched him. The attack happened around 8 a.m. April 17 near Garcia’s condo on A1A near 27th St. Garcia said he needed 10 stitches and suffered fractured cartilage on his nose.

Garcia picked him out of a photo lineup, and two days later, Charles was arrested. He is charged with third-degree felony battery, and investigators could still charge him with a hate crime. Garcia told WFOR that he believes the attack was motivated by anti-gay bias, and is concerned that a hate crime charge hasn’t been filed.

Bond was set at $15,000, and court records show he was released and is being electronically monitored on home detention.

The 36-year-old Charles is a convicted felon who had been released from prison just before Christmas last year.


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