Authorities in Polk County, Florida, are trying to identify a man who allegedly attacked another customer at a Lakeland liquor store after the victim did not thank him for holding the door open for him. The alleged incident happened at a Publix Liquor store at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. A third man, who went into the store with the suspect, had to separate the two men, according to surveillance footage.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said the attack started when the victim did not thank the suspect for holding the door open. The victim is seen wearing a tan-colored hat in the video the sheriff's office released, reports WFLA. The suspect, seen wearing a black and gray shirt with a black hat, allegedly asked the victim, "You don't say 'thank you' to people who hold the door open for you?" The victim told deputies he did say, "Thank you."
"But apparently that wasn’t enough," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told WFLA. "Because our now suspect, who was originally a gentleman, started jawing back and forth. That's a southern vernacular for talking back to each other."
In the video, the men are seen walking to different parts of the store after they first met. The victim said he could hear the suspect continue to complain from another part of the store. "I'll kick your [butt] if you say another word," the victim claims he heard the suspect say. The victim replied with "another word." At that point, the suspect attacked the victim. The suspect hit the victim several times, eventually knocking his hat off. A third man stepped into the altercation to break it up. The victim and the suspect are seen flipping the middle finger at each other before the suspect leaves.
"Come on man, what are you thinking?" Judd told WFLA. "Were your three brain cells in overload? Why don't you just let it go? Get you a bottle of liquor, go back to the house, have you a drink. But no, they had to have a kerfuffle right there in the middle of the store."
Judd said they want to file a battery complaint against the suspect. Anyone who recognizes the suspect should call the sheriff's office at (863) 499-2400 or leave a tip with Heartland Crime Stoppers. "Here's our promise: We'll open the door for you at the county jail and say thank you if you open the door first," Judd told WFLA in a message to the suspect.