A Davie couple is accused of committing two separate assaults over a two-day period against the same gay man—attacks police are calling hate crimes.
According to police reports, on September 6, 2009, Barry Jones of Fort Lauderdale walked to his neighbor’s apartment to complain about loud noises coming from inside.
Jones, 45, told Fort Lauderdale Police that after he knocked on the door of the apartment located in the 2100 block of Northeast 56th Street, Ricardo Rivera began to hit him.
Rivera’s arrest affidavit reads: “Jones stated that Rivera knocked him to the ground and up against the wall. Jones stated that Rivera was yelling ‘faggot’ over and over while hitting him.” Rivera is alleged to have repeatedly punched Jones in the chest and face and to have threatened to kill Jones.
On the following day, Jones said that he saw a green Ford Expedition parked outside the apartment complex; the vehicle resembled one which Rivera was driving on the night of the attack.
Jones says that when he walked to the Expedition to write down its tag number, Rivera’s wife, Bedsaida, jumped out of the driver’s seat and began showering him with pepper spray. The arrest affidavit states that she screamed “faggot” and “I’m going to get you” at Jones during the attack.
Jones claims that he tried to escape, running into the apartment’s swimming pool area. The affidavit states that Rivera, 49, followed him and sprayed him directly in the face.
Bedsaida Rivera disputes Jones’ claims. She claims that he confronted her husband and that when he attempted to shut the door on Jones, the man stuck his foot in the doorway. She also says her husband never punched Jones or called him a “faggot.”
Police arrested Bedsaida Rivera in Davie on January 12, and charged her with simple battery.
Ricardo Rivera was arrested in Georgia on January 27th and charged with aggravated battery.
Because the pair are charged with hate crimes in the attacks, they face stiffer sentences if found guilty.