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A Florida Keys couple told a snorkeler he was too close — then out came a rod, cops say

Miami Herald logo Miami Herald 8/8/2022 David Goodhue, Miami Herald

A Florida Keys couple who thought a snorkeler went too close to their waterfront home were arrested Sunday after beating the vacationing man with a fishing rod and pole, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Paulo De Oliveira, 65, was arrested on one count of felony aggravated battery and a misdemeanor count of battery. His wife, Katia De Oliveira, 61, was booked on one count of felony aggravated battery.

As of Monday afternoon, they were being held at the Stock Island detention center, with no bond information immediately available.

READ MORE: A fish took too big a bite and was in trouble. A Florida officer came to the rescue

According to deputies, they at first argued with, and then beat a 36-year-old St. Petersburg, Florida, man over the head with a pole and a fishing rod as he swam Sunday near the dock of their house on 12th Street along the Gulf of Mexico.

The snorkeler, whom the sheriff’s office did not name, was “bleeding profusely from the head” and taken to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon to be treated for the lacerations, the agency said in a statement.

Witnesses — friends of the man who were on a boat about 25 yards from shore — confirmed his story that he was attacked by the De Oliveiras.

Nearby security camera footage also showed the attack, the sheriff’s office said.

READ MORE: Did a police boat fatally strike a snorkeler in the Keys? Inquiry launched to find out

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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