News Years Eve party takes a dark turn


OKEECHOBEE — A Hispanic male was reportedly attacked by a co-worker as they brought in the new year Friday night. The victim turned up in the parking lot of the Okeechobee Police Department at approximately 10 a.m. the following morning to report the crime. Officer Trenton Moutschka was the first to come into contact with him, but due to the language barrier, quickly enlisted the aid of Sgt. Cesar Romero, who was able to translate.

The victim explained he had been drinking with three friends and a co-worker, Rogelio Rodriguez, the night before. He said the three friends left around 10 or 11 p.m., But he and Rodriguez continued to drink until the victim passed out. The next thing he remembered was being hit on the side of the head with a heavy object and then waking up in a ditch.

When officers interviewed Rodriguez, he reportedly told them he hit the man because he insulted him.

Rodriguez, 49, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Bond was set at $10,000.