Elizajah McKenzie of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested Friday after surveillance footage showing a man, purportedly McKenzie, hitting a county bus driver surfaced, news sources indicate. McKenzie, 18, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on one charge of battery of a public transit employee. His bail bond was set at $1,000. It is not yet known whether he has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
Reports say the incident occurred on September 10 at around 9:00 in the evening. McKenzie was riding the bus, which the 54-year-old victim was driving along the 2800 block of West Sunrise Boulevard. Reports say McKenzie was misbehaving on the bus, overusing the bus’s stop pulley and refusing to take his feet off of a neighboring seat. Agitated, the bus driver allegedly stopped the bus, walked to the back of the vehicle, and confronted McKenzie. Reports say the two got into a verbal argument and then driver returned to his seat.
A surveillance recording showed what happened next. A man who investigators and witnesses say is McKenzie left his seat, approached the bus’s exit, struck the driver with his fist, and attempted to flee. The video reportedly shows the driver grabbing McKenzie’s shirt in an attempt to stop him, but he escapes and makes it off the bus. Following the incident, authorities handed the surveillance footage over to local news stations, which showed the clip on television in order to identify the attacker.
Reports say McKenzie’s mother heard about the video and asked McKenzie about the attack. He purportedly denied involvement. The mother then called police so she could vindicate her son of the rumors. When police showed up, however, the son reportedly folded under questioning and admitted to being the suspect in the video.
McKenzie is not the only South Floridian who stands accused of attacking someone. Jacquelina Fluery Jules of West Palm Beach, Florida was arrested after a 12-year-old girl alleged that she had physically abused her numerous times, reports indicate. Jules, 50, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of aggravated child abuse. A bail was not set and it is not yet known whether she has retained legal representation.
Police in Palm Beach first learned of the suspected abuse when the 12-year-old victim reached out for their support, reports say. Reports did not identify the girl by name because she is a juvenile. The girl told police that Jules had been “physically abusing her,” which purportedly included whipping her with a belt, grabbing her face, and hitting her in the head. Reports indicate that Jules is one of the child’s caregivers, but they do not specify whether or not the two are related.
After launching an investigation into the alleged abuse, police located and interviewed a number of witnesses that purported seeing Jules lash out at the child, reports say. On witness reported seeing Jules grab the victim’s jaw and hit her in the head. Another witness, identified as the victim’s friend, recalled that the victim’s family had shut the victim out of her own residence on previous occasions. She also alleged that the victim had fled from a belt-wielding Jules on previous occasions.
Police confronted Jules with the allegations, and after denying them at first, she admitted to beating the victim as much as two times a month. However, she said she never grabbed or hit the girl in the head. It is unclear if the girl will remain in Jules’s custody.