Man accused of striking employees at 2 restaurants in their faces in 1 night

Man accused of striking employees at 2 restaurants in their faces in 1 night

(As originally published with additional photos, Wed, January 31st 2024)

THE VILLAGES, Fla. (TND) — Apparently, a man in Florida really got around one night last week, and so did the sheriff’s deputy who had to follow him to investigate.

The suspect is accused of visiting two restaurants, and punching an employee at each place.

He was arrested for the second incident that night, and for the first one this past Monday, and quickly released from jail both times.

The Sumter County deputy reported responding to “a physical disturbance” at Cody’s Road House in The Villages where “the victim stated he was struck in the face by a customer — who was later identified as the defendant, Stephen Serwo — for no apparent reason.”

So where was Serwo?

According to this arrest report, “The defendant was located across the street during a call for service in reference to another physical disturbance call, and was arrested for the separate incident.”

In this first case, “The defendant was not charged for the battery which occurred at [Cody’s Road House] at this time due to no positive identification.”

In this case, “Video surveillance was obtained corroborating the victim’s statement, which shows the defendant strike the victim in the face utilizing his closed right fist.

“The defendant can also be identified by the video surveillance from [the other place] and [the deputy’s] body cam footage from [the other place].”

The next day, “On January 24, 2024, [another deputy] who is unaffiliated with this case met with the victim and presented a photo lineup.

“The victim was able to positively identify the defendant.”

Serwo was arrested this past Monday evening, Jan. 29, when the deputy showed up at his home “in reference to the defendant wanting to turn himself in.”

The other incident took place shortly after and the same deputy wrote in a separate arrest report, “I was already in the area in reference to an employee at Cody’s Road House who had been battered by an elderly white male later identified as the defendant.”

Man accused of striking employees at 2 restaurants in their faces in 1 night
Stephen Edward Serwo was arrested for 2 separate incidents of battery on 2 people at 2 restaurants on one night, Jan. 23 (left) and 29, 2024. (Sumter Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Here, the alleged victim was a woman and there’s a clue to a possible motive.

This restaurant worker said “she had been punched in the face by an elderly male” who showed up and wanted to go into the kitchen.

According to the arrest report, the victim said she saw “the defendant enter their establishment and he began dancing among the other patrons.

“The victim stated the defendant then began walking towards the kitchen area, which is not open to the public.

“The victim stated she made contact with the defendant and began to explain to him that he was not allowed to be in the kitchen.

“The victim stated before she could finish, the defendant’s open palm struck her in the face and made contact with her nose.”

Then, a witness told the deputy he saw what happened, and that the guy began “to scream at multiple staff members, trying to fight with them as well.”

Serwo, the suspect, however, had a different story.

“The defendant stated he does not recall hitting anyone,” the arrest report said. “The defendant believes the business at [location] had taken his golf cart and the employees were in on the scheme.

“The defendant did confirm that he went inside [Cody’s Road House] but denied laying hands on anyone.

“The defendant stated he then went to the incident location City Fire.”

The arrest report said he admitted to drinking “an alcoholic beverage at his residence when the sun was set, but was unsure at what time and did not know how much he had to drink.”

Plus, it said, his right knuckle was “slightly red and swollen compared to his left hand.”

On this night, Serwo, 73, was arrested for battery and released from jail in less than three hours in lieu of $500 bond.

On Jan. 29, he was arrested for battery again and released from jail in just over two hours; again, in lieu of $500 bond.

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