By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida man says he was attacked by a man while he was walking his dog Sunday morning.

The assailant allegedly approached James Garcia, asked him if he was gay and when he didn’t get a reply, he punched him in the face.

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Garcia says it happened in the 2700 block of N Ocean Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

The alleged attacker, Maurice Antwan Charles, is now in custody.

Past mugshot for Maurice Antwan Charles. (Source: Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

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But Garcia says he’s worried because police haven’t yet charged the suspect with a hate crime.

Charles was released from prison in December of last year.

He was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 2017 and had an aggravated battery case in 2008.

Tuesday night, he’s facing yet another aggravated battery charge.

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Officials are still investigating to decide if they should charge Charles with a hate crime as well. Team