$1 million bond set for man accused of punching man over parking spot

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 11:07 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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MANDEVILLE, La. (WVUE) - One man has been arrested and another is recovering after a verbal argument in a Mandeville parking lot turned violent.

Video of the encounter was widely shared over social media. Witnesses say the dispute began over a parking spot on Mon., Dec. 13. It shows a man identified by police as Richard Suarez arguing with several women after he parked in the emergency lane outside of a busy shopping center on Highway 190.

Another man intervenes and exchanges words with Suarez. The two men disappear behind a vehicle and that’s when police say Suarez struck the man. The victim, who remains unidentified, is seen on the video falling onto the concrete.

Suarez fled the scene before Mandeville police tracked him down at a Veteran’s Affairs Hospital.

A spokesperson for the Mandeville Police Department says they do not know which branch of the military Suarez may have been in or whether he is active or retired.

“What I saw yesterday is why I live in Mandeville. I’m proud of our citizens and of our police department for making the arrest,” Mayor Clay Madden told FOX 8.

Suarez was arrested on suspicion of battery. A St. Tammany Parish judge set his bond at $1 million Tuesday.

Richard Suarez was given a $1 million bond after a viral video captured him punching an elderly...
Richard Suarez was given a $1 million bond after a viral video captured him punching an elderly man over a parking spot in Mandeville.(STPSO)

“This generated a lot of social media and people want an immediate resolution, but they need to be assured that police will take care of it and let this play out,” Chief Todd Schliem said.

Schliem says he believes the victim has been released from the hospital. Witnesses say he was communicative when ambulances took him away from the scene.

Suarez is currently being held in the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

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