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Two arrested in attack on accused child molester

11-10-2009 Florida:

Two Broward men were in jail Sunday after allegedly beating a third man with concrete blocks when a young boy said the man had fondled him.

The Fort Lauderdale man who police say was severely beaten by a furious father after allegedly fondling a 3-year-old boy had been arrested twice before -- but never convicted -- in sex crime cases, according to court records.

Luke Petruschke had to be placed in a medically induced coma Saturday after he was kicked, punched and bludgeoned with concrete blocks and rocks by Manuel Vega, 27, and another man, according to Davie police. The attack took place just after Vega's son revealed that Petruschke had fondled him the night before at the family's home in Davie, authorities said.

Officials at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood would not release Petruschke's medical condition Sunday afternoon.

Petruschke, 38, was acquitted in 1997 of two sex-related charges in Sarasota County and, four years later, prosecutors in Osceola County dropped a lewd and lascivious molestation charge against him, online court dockets show. Details of the two cases were unavailable Sunday.

Davie police spokesman Sgt. Greg Gasse said that if Petruschke recovers, he will face charges of lewd and lascivious molestation.

While Vega's anger was understandable, Gasse said, it was not his place to act as ``judge, jury and executioner'' immediately after the boy made the accusation.

Vega now faces more serious charges than Petruschke, and whatever the boy suffered will be compounded by having his father behind bars, Gasse said.

Vega's mother said her son is a good father who ``lost it.'' Vega met Petruschke about two months ago, and they would go fishing and play cards together, said Evelyn Vega, the 3-year-old's grandmother.

``I pray that [Petruschke] lives for my son's sake because if he dies, my son will be in jail for a long time,'' she said. ``We will not drop these charges. He will pay for what he did to my grandson.''

Manuel Vega and his friend, Krish Carter, 43, are being held at the Broward County Jail without bond, facing attempted murder charges. Vega has a criminal history that includes convictions for grand theft, burglary and cocaine possession.

Petruschke had spent Friday night at Vega's home in the 5100 block of Davie Road after having dinner with the family, police said. The next morning, as he prepared to leave, the boy told his parents that Petruschke had fondled him.

Davie police responding to a 911 call about the suspected molestation arrived to find a bloody Petruschke staggering out of a nearby wooded area with severe head injuries.

Vega claimed that Petruschke had wrecked his Chevy Cavalier, but an investigator quickly concluded the damage wasn't the result of a crash, police said. Car windows had been smashed and there were two bloody chunks of concrete inside.

A witness later told police he saw Vega and Carter breaking out the car's windows with the concrete, punching Petruschke inside the car and then pulling him out to continue beating and kicking him. Vega and Carter left Petruschke motionless on the ground and went into Carter's home to wash their hands, the witness told police.

When Vega was arrested, he told the officers, ``That is my son, man. What would you do?''

Evelyn Vega said her grandson seems to be doing fine emotionally, but has asked for his dad.

``Manuel has been in jail before and done his time, but he loves his son and he cares for his son dearly,'' she said. ``I'm pretty sure he's driving himself crazy because he can't see [his son], talk to him and give him a hug. I know Manuel is destroyed in there thinking about this.'' ..Source.. by JON BURSTEIN, Sun Sentinel

2 Men Arrested in Attack On Suspected Molester

10-25-2009 Florida:

Father, Neighbor Arrested in Savage Attack in Davie

DAVIE, Fla. -- Two men have been arrested in Davie for allegedly attacking another man whom they believed had molested the son of one of the suspects.

The man who was beaten, Luke Petruschke, was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood where he was placed in intensive care.

Police said Petruschke was staying at a friend's home when that man's 3-year-old boy told his father Petruschke had fondled him.

Investigators said the homeowner, Manuel Vega and a neighbor, Krish Carter, attacked Petruschke with their fists and feet, and even beat him with concrete blocks and rocks.

Vega and Carter are charged with attempted murder.

Petruschke is being charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child. ..Source.. by

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