Marine veteran says he was attacked by rowdy, drunken men at Fla. restaurant

DAVIE, Fla. (WSVN/CNN) - A former U.S. Marines corporal faces more surgery on his jaw, which had to be screwed shut, after he says he was sucker-punched outside a Florida restaurant.

Mitch, who didn’t want his last name revealed, says he was on a date April 24 at the Quarterdeck seafood restaurant in Davie, Fla., when a group of rowdy people entered.

“There was a group of gentlemen that showed up, about 10 or so people, the majority of them without their shirt or shoes on,” Mitch said. “They were very rowdy. They were drinking, and I stupidly made the comment, ‘What, are we at the beach, boys?'”

The group started cursing out the 25-year-old former U.S. Marines corporal, and one even tried to approach him later.

“I told him to get away from me,” Mitch said.

Mitch and his date eventually decided to leave the restaurant.

“As we were exiting the front doors, I opened the door for her first,” he said. “She took several steps out. I followed her. Next thing I know, I felt a grab on my left arm, hit to the right of my face.”

The veteran says the strike caused him to fall face first to the ground, leaving his chin busted open and his jaw broken.

“All I remember seeing was black, red and yellow,” Mitch said. “I do believe I was initially knocked out.”

Mitch needed screws to hold his jaw together, and he faces more surgeries.

“I think I’ve earned my right to live peaceful in this country,” Mitch said. “That involves not getting my jaw broken as I’m walking my date to her car on a Wednesday night.”

The attacker managed to successfully get away, but police believe surveillance video could be of great help to the detectives working the case. They released footage of the man they believe may have thrown the punch.

“The victim is a decorated military war veteran just out trying to enjoy the evening, and then we have this other individual, who in a cowardice act, comes up from behind him without him seeing and just breaks his jaw by hitting him with something in the face — just a very cowardly act,” said Davie Police Sgt. Mark Leone.

Copyright 2019 WSVN, Davie Police, Victim photos via CNN. All rights reserved.