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Published on May 29, 2024
Sunny Isles Beach Man Charged with Aggravated Child Abuse After Allegedly Choking Boy in ParkSource: Miami-Dade Corrections

A 60-year-old man has been taken into custody following allegations of him choking a 10-year-old boy at a Florida park, authorities stated. According to the 7News report, Robert Marcu of Sunny Isles Beach was arrested under charges of aggravated child abuse and battery by strangulation after a disturbing video emerged, showing him with his hands around the child's neck.

The incident, which police say took place at Gwen Margolis Park, allegedly began as a minor skirmish between two children playing with water guns. It escalated into violence when Marcu intervened, seemingly to quickly teach one of the boys a lesson, an action that bystanders captured on video footage. "The kids had some kind of little fight and this father, out of nowhere, just decided to intervene and commit this heinous crime," Sgt. Melissa Porro of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department said in a statement obtained by 7News.

Following the arrest, Marcu appeared in court where a judge warned him not to discuss the facts of the case openly and reminded him of his right to legal representation. Marcu remains in custody, with the court stipulating that he must steer clear, no closer than 15 feet from the child involved, if he posts bond.

Additional details provided by NBC Miami revealed the victim's father reported that Marcu "impeding his breathing and restricting his air way and shaking him around while still gripping his neck." during the altercation. "Well there were two kids basically playing, like children do, at one of our parks, and at some point they became involved in some type of altercation, child’s play between each other, nothing violent to our knowledge," Porro explained in her interview with NBC Miami. She added that Marcu spontaneously admitted to officers, "yeah, I know what I did, I needed to teach him a lesson," directly to perhaps justify his actions.

The child, thankfully, appears to be physically unharmed but might experience trauma from the event, indicated Sgt. Porro. The Sunny Isles Beach Police stressed that no matter the situation, violence against children is never condoned. The families involved are not believed to be acquainted, although the boys attend the same school. Porro emphasized that "it's never ok for an adult to grab a child like that, especially if it's not their child," and that any disputes should be addressed in a non-violent manner by reaching out to the parents to mediate.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies