Deltona, Florida

Police search for suspects in beating of homeless man By PATRICIO G. BALONA Staff Writer DELTONA
A homeless man is in critical condition after a severe beating that resulted in facial fractures, broken ribs and a punctured lung, a sheriff’s spokesman said Thursday. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is seeking two men who carried out the apparently unprovoked attack on 50-year-old Leonel Guerra-Vila last week, sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson said.
Guerra-Vila is in critical condition in intensive care at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City, hospital spokeswoman Deborah McNabb said Thursday. The man was hospitalized Aug. 14 after an East Normandy Boulevard convenience store owner found him behind the store having trouble breathing, a sheriff’s incident report states. A lung doctor said Guerra-Vila was having difficulty breathing because of the severity of the injuries, the report states.
Guerra-Vila initially declined to cooperate with deputies, but hospital officials called investigators Wednesday, saying Guerra-Vila’s condition had deteriorated, “Davidson said” He was conscious enough on Wednesday to talk with our investigators. “Davidson said” Guerra-Vila, a native of Cuba who has been in the United States and homeless since 1986, said his attackers were two Hispanic men, possibly 20 to 30 years old.
He said he had been living in the woods behind the East Normandy Express Mart store where he was found Aug. 14. During Wednesday’s brief interview with deputies, Guerra-Vila said the two men shoved him off his bicycle as he tried to flee, then repeatedly kicked and punched him while he was on the ground. Guerra-Vila said he has seen the men before and has had problems with them in the past, Davidson said.
On Thursday, investigators were trying to determine where and when the attack took place, as well as looking for possible witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (386) 736-5999 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida, toll-free, at (888)277-TIPS (8477). Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may qualify for a reward of up to $1,000.