Enraged ‘Florida Man’ opens fire in hotel lobby after woman, child allegedly fail to social distance

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Screengrab WPLG

Leave it to “Florida Man” to take social distancing to the umpteenth level.

A man who reportedly took exception to a mother and son failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines in place because of the coronavirus pandemic allegedly fired shots into a Miami Beach hotel lobby’s floor to make his point, according to WSVN.

“The guy came and started shooting,” a witness told the Fox affiliate. “The son and the mom were, like, crying, and they were scared.”

The police report on the incident said the man became enraged over the mother and child not social distancing — so much so that he allegedly pulled a firearm and fired several shots into the floor of the Crystal Beach Suites Hotel lobby.

Identified as Douglas Marks, he allegedly “continued to scream commands to social distance while holding the firearm and subsequently fired several shots,” according to police.

The woman, Veronica Pena and her son, are from New Mexico, according to WPLG Local 10.

They were in the lobby area when they saw Marks, who she said told them, “You aren’t social distancing.”

He then reportedly told them they needed to leave.

Elio Rodriguez was staying in a room at the hotel with his wife and child when he heard gunshots ring out, and scampered to protect his family.

“‘Bam! Bam!’ Real loud, loud. I just grabbed everybody and put them on the floor,” Rodriguez told WSVN. “I grabbed my daughter and everybody and put them on the floor.”

Marks, 47, who was holding a black handgun, surrendered to police and was placed under arrest without incident.

In a video, he is seen lying on the floor handcuffed — with a face mask on. Marks, who was in the process of checking into the hotel when the incident happened, faces several charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, using a firearm while committing a felony and discharging a firearm in public.

All which prompted an appropriate question posed by a social media user: “Wonder how jail and Social distancing gonna work out?”

Tensions over social distancing have run high before, as seen when a brawl broke out in an Arkansas restaurant earlier this month.

According to witnesses, a woman wearing a face mask had a confrontation with some other customers who apparently were standing too close to her.

The woman is heard in a video telling two men “you’re supposed to be six feet away from me.”

An employee alleged the woman was seen purposely coughing on other customers, and the melee began after she told the two patrons that they were not abiding by the physical distancing recommendations for COVID-19 for individuals to keep at least 6 feet apart, according to a report from the Little Rock Police Department.

Tom Tillison

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

The longest-tenured writer at BizPac Review, Tom grew up in Maryland before moving to Central Florida as a young teen. It is in the Sunshine State that he honed both his passion for politics and his writing skills.
Tom Tillison

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