DOCUMENT: Florida, Crime

Man Arrested For "Laundry Rage" Attack On Retiree

Victim, 75, battered for using dryer perp said "was his"

Laundry Assault

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Laundromat Assault

SEPTEMBER 26--In a violent episode of laundry rage, a Florida man twice shoved a 75-year-old victim to the ground and stomped on him after the senior citizen had the temerity to try and put his clothes in a dryer that the attacker claimed was his, police allege.

The confrontation earlier this month at the Super Matt Laundry in Fort Myers resulted in last night’s arrest of Kenneth Wood, 55, for felony battery on a person 65 years or older. Wood, seen in the adjacent mug shot, is locked up in lieu of $150,500 bond.

According to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report, the September 9 attack--which was captured by a surveillance camera--occurred as Alexandros Dimitrelos sought to place his clothes in a dryer. At that point, the 5’ 5” retiree, who was accompanied by his 73-year-old wife, was challenged by Wood.

Investigators allege that Wood, whose laundry was still in a washing machine, told Dimitrelos that a specific dryer “was his dryer.” The two men then argued, with Dimitrelos asking Wood whether he thought he owned the laundromat. And then the septuagenarian called the 6', 210-pound Wood an “idiot.”

Wood responded by shoving Dimitrelos to the ground. After the elderly victim got to his feet, Wood pushed him down a second time. With Dimitrelos on the laundry floor, Wood grabbed his cell phone and “threw it causing it to shatter into several pieces.” As Wood fled, Dimitrelos went into a neighboring bar to call 911.

With the aid of the surveillance video (seen above), a detective was able to identify Wood as the laundry assailant. He was arrested yesterday following a recorded interview at the sheriff’s office (Wood’s post-Miranda statements to investigators have been redacted from a report released by the sheriff’s office).

In addition to the battery count, Wood was also charged with felony criminal mischief for allegedly destroying Dimitrelos’s phone. Deputies noted that Dimitrelos “refused medical attention several times that it was offered.” (2 pages)