Kenneth Wood arrested for attacking elderly man in laundromat dispute

2:42 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- The Lee County Sheriff's Office says a dispute over using a dryer prompted a man to attack a 75-year-old at a laundromat last month.

Kenneth Wood, 55, is facing a charge of felony battery on a person 65 years or older and was being held at the Lee County Jail. He was taken into custody Wednesday night after Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers received a tip identifying him as the man seen in a recently released video that captured the incident.

Wood is also charged with property damage, for smashing the victim's cell phone, preventing him from calling 9-1-1 for assistance.

Deputies say they responded to the Coin Laundry on Pine Island Road on Sept. 9 and learned 75-year-old Alexandros Dimitrelos had been involved in an altercation at the establishment.

Dimitrelos told investigators he was doing his laundry when an unknown man, later identified as Wood, opened one of the dryers Dimitrelos was next to.

He said Wood told him that was "his dryer," and the two started arguing over who was going to use the dryer.

Dimitrelos pointed out his clothes were ready to go into the dryer and Wood was still washing his, but the man responded by asking Dimitrelos if he thought he owned the dryer.

Dimitrelos said he called Wood "an idiot," at which point Wood pushed him to the ground and kicked him several times, according to a sheriff's office report.

Surveillance video shows the two men arguing for about a minute before the confrontation becomes physical.

Dimitrelos appears to walk to the suspect before he is pushed to the ground. He gets up and tries to take out a cell phone, but the suspect throws him to the ground a second time, kicks him and smashes the phone before leaving the laundromat.

In a release, Crime Stoppers thanked the public for their quick response in helping identify Wood and the sheriff's office for a swift arrest.

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