Florida man accused of fatally punching another patron at Miller’s Ale House earlier this month now faces upgraded charges in Orange County.
Benjamin Hernandez Jr., 28, of Sebring was charged Monday with manslaughter in the death of Srikanth “Shrik” Srinivasan, 51, of Winter Garden.
Hernandez was previously charged with the lesser crimes of aggravated battery with great bodily harm.
After the punch in the outdoor patio on June 4, Srinivasan fell to the ground and suffered trauma to his head. He was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center in critical condition. A neurologist there opted against surgery, saying Srinivasan was “clinically brain dead.”
“It was advised that Srikanth’s brain had herniated at the brainstem and he was not expected to survive,” an arrest report said. A doctor said “that there is nothing they can do to treat Srikanth.”
His wife took him off life support the next day.
In a court filing, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis D. Ayala charged Hernandez with manslaughter, saying he killed Srinivasan “without lawful justification or excuse.”
An arrest affidavit said Hernandez intervened in a verbal argument between Srinivasan and his wife at the restaurant at 8123 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee.
Hernandez told a deputy he was in the bar having a few drinks and noticed Srikanth Srinivasan and his wife Barbara Jean Srinivasan in a verbal argument. Hernandez got up and approached the couple and tried to calm Srinivasan to “de-escalate the issue,” a report said.
When Srinivasan would not calm down, Hernandez punched him in the face with a closed fist, knocking him down to the ground and causing him to strike his head on the floor.
Several customers prevented Hernandez from leaving the bar after the punch, forcing him to wait for authorities to arrive.
“Benjamin stated that he has seen a lot of abuse in his family and did not want to see another man hurt a woman” and “that’s why he did what he did,” the report added.
Srinivasan’s wife ran to his side after he fell and was extremely distraught while the paramedics worked on him.
Witnesses gave similar statements to deputies. One recalled Hernandez say: “I’m not going to let no man disrespect no women like that.”
Do you agree? I understand his desire to protect a woman but NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED.
YOU can’t interfere with anybody when they are quarreling. You trying to be a good Samaritan will Get you in trouble. It seems like the honorable thing to do. But the crime wasn’t committed until Hernandez punched the guy in the head. THAT’S against the law.
Do you know how many police officers get killed trying to break up a domestic dispute? They are the #1 dangerous call that any officer can take. Officers are equipped with guns, mace, batons, back up and you’re just sitting in your jeans and tank top eating chicken wings. Let the people who are more equipped handle domestic violence or domestic disturbance.
Okay so anyway, from what my understanding is, after watching the wife give an interview and talk about her missing her husband, she is stating that Hernandez had absolutely no logical reason for interrupting their dispute. She said her husband was not getting physical with her in any kind of way. Also she claims that Hernandez insisted on calling her husband Nigger. Her husband is not a black man, not that calling someone Nigger SHOULD or would imply that they are black but her husband is very dark-skinned, but he is Indian. So her husband continued to tell Hernandez that he is not black. Her husband told Hernandez that that is not his ethnicity so he did not understand why he was referring to him as Nigger.