An Amazon delivery driver in Florida struck a 73-year-old man in the face with his phone after allegedly being confronted for attempting to enter a condo without wearing as mask.
Surveillance video picked up the shocking moment Ray Breslin was hit after the altercation with the driver in the lobby of the Miami Beach building.
Amazon apologized to Breslin and said the man was an employee of a service partner who is no longer delivering packages for the retail giant.
Yet the driver has yet to be identified as Breslin’s lawyer claims he is guilty of felony battery.
The incident happened back on August 4 in the Mantell Plaza, located along 24th Street, where Breslin owns seven units.
‘I was mortified,’ Breslin told WSVN. ‘I just couldn’t believe it.’
The condo resident claims he noticed the delivery driver was not wearing a mask as he tried to enter and video shows Breslin confronting him at the door to say that he was not allowed in as the building had a strict mask policy.
‘I open the door, I said, “Excuse me, you have to have a mask on”,’ said Breslin. ‘He said, “I’m just delivering”. I said, “It doesn’t matter. You wanna come in the building, you need to have a mask on”.’
‘All of a sudden, he just puts his foot at the door like that. He’s not gonna let me close the door,’ Breslin alleges.’I pushed his foot out of the way and closed the door.’
The surveillance footage shows how Breslin, the condo president, took the packages from the driver at this point and left them by the front door as the other man walked away.
Breslin said he also went outside himself to take pictures of the driver’s vehicle and license plate.
Yet after the driver went back to his vehicle to pick up a mask and returned to finish delivering the packages, the situation became more frightening, Breslin alleges.
The angered man decided to argue with him about being pushed to wear a mask, pushing his phone into Breslin’s face as he confronted him.
‘Then he came back with a mask on, and I thought, “OK, not so bad”,’ he said, ‘and I open the door, and I let them in.’
‘He brings his phone up like that and smashes me in the face,’ he added.
Breslin said the man fled the scene without delivering his packages once he pointed out that the whole thing was caught on surveillance footage.
‘I was like… what are you kidding me? I said, there’s a camera right there that just shot all this — and he looked, put his head down, took his packages and walked right out the door,’ Breslin told NBC 2.
The 73-year-old received no injuries from the clash but told WSVN that he is still shaken up, even three weeks on.
He told Local 10 that the driver said he hit him because Breslin did so first.
The surveillance footage available does not show Breslin hitting the driver.
Breslin filed a victims report with police in which he described the altercation as battery but cops have yet to identify the driver. Breslin also handed over the photos he had taken of the driver’s van to help in the search for him.
‘This is a felony battery,’ Breslin’s lawyer Michael Grieco said, explaining that it’s a felony anytime anyone over the age of 65 is struck.
‘The fact that an Amazon driver, any delivery driver, would contemplate getting violent with somebody in a situation like that is beyond me,’ he added.
Amazon has since sent an emailed apology to Breslin for the driver’s behavior and confirmed he no longer delivers packages on their behalf.
‘This does not reflect the high standards we have for delivery service partners,’ the statement said.
‘We are addressing the incident with the delivery service partner and can confirm that this individual is no longer delivering Amazon packages. We are in touch with the customer to make things right.’
Breslin said that he just wanted to make sure the man wore a mask as ‘it’s the law’.
‘That man should not have a job delivering for any company, let alone a big company like Amazon,’ said Breslin.
‘I was being firm. I wasn’t being nasty. I wasn’t going to let him in the building without a mask. Plain and simple.’
There is currently a countywide mask mandate in effect in Miami-Dade requiring everyone to wear a mask at all times when in a public or risk a $100 fine.
In Miami Beach, police and code officers started giving out $50 civil citations starting July 23 for anyone not wearing a facial covering while in a public place or space.
‘We all need to be serious about flattening the curve and putting this deadly virus behind us,’ said Mayor Dan Gelber. ‘Please do your part and wear a mask.’
As of Friday morning, there were 615,806 confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida and 10,868 deaths.
There were 89 new deaths reported Thursday.
Miami-Dade County accounted for 155,418 of the state’s cases and 2,372 deaths.
If you have any information on the delivery driver in this incident or his whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.