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Victim, Witness Speak Out After Violent Robbery In South Beach

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami)- Miami Beach Police are asking for the public's help to identify robbers who also violently attacked their victim in South Beach.

A witness told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that he stopped the attack by warning the criminals he was going to call the police.

Police said, on August 31st just before 5 a.m., a tattoo artist skateboarding on his way home was approached by a dark-colored SUV.

The men inside the vehicle asked the artist for a cigarette but later started approaching the man who panicked and ran towards a Chevron gas station at 71st Street and Harding Avenue.

"Two guys got out of their car and the second I passed them, there was a blow to my face. I just fell off my board," said the 25-year old victim who only wanted to be identified as Tony.

Cameras captured the brutal moments as the robbers caught up to Tony and got violent. Video shows the men attacking Tony, kicking him repeatedly, then dragging and punching him several times as he was on the ground at the service station. When he got up, he was knocked down and beaten again.

"They gave me a beating again and took my skateboard and my book bag," said the victim."My face, kicks to the ribs, my back. On the video it looks like one of them kicked me in the face and the right side of the face."

The skateboard that was taken had his image on it.

The beating seemed like it would never end. A witness said it went on for nearly a minute.

"I wasn't thinking clearly because after the first blow to my head, I was very dazed and off balance as well," said Tony.

Gregory, a witness who was working at the Chevron Station, told D'Oench, "They kept on beating him until I went outside with phone and said I was going to call the cops. It all started when I was behind the counter and heard a loud bang on the door and I ran outside to see what was going on."

Gregory, who did not want to give his last name, said, "Three people were fighting. The victim was on the ground. They were beating on him very badly. It lasted almost a minute. I had the impression they had something against this person who was on the ground. I don't know why they were beating him. It looked like they were trying to settle up with him. He was screaming and I said I am going to call the cops."

He continued, "They said he had a knife...But I did not see a knife. They need to catch them."

Miami Beach Fire Rescue treated Tony who had bruising, several cuts and a complete finger nail torn off.

"As you see in the video, this was a vicious attack and we are asking for the public's help to ensure that we capture these individuals to make sure it does not happen to anyone else," said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.

Police said they do not know why Tony was attacked.

"The motive is unknown," said Rodriguez.

Tony said he will be more cautious.

"I am not too good to tell you the truth. I do feel more aware of late night," said Tony. "To the public, be aware, late at night, on South Beach, making your way back home."

Neither Tony nor the employees of the service station said they recognize the men seen on the surveillance video.

Anyone who recognizes the people in the video is urged to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471- TIPS.

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