KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A distraught Winter Garden woman’s account of a stranger’s fatal, single-punch attack on her husband in a Miller’s Ale House in June and the alleged attacker's statement were captured on a deputy’s body-worn camera.
- Barbara Srinivasan says husband was "cold-cocked" by patron
- Srikanth "Shrik" Srinivasan fell backward, hitting his head
- Punching suspect Benjamin Hernandez Jr. also gave statement
The video from the body camera was recently released by prosecutors.
Barbara Srinivasan, 35, told a deputy she and her husband were having a disagreement June 4 at Miller’s Ale House at 8123 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in the Four Corners area near Kissimmee when Benjamin Hernandez Jr. intervened.
Four Corners is where Osceola, Orange, Polk, and Lake counties meet. The restaurant is in Orange County.
In an interview captured on a deputy’s camera, Hernandez, 28, acknowledged he got involved in the couple’s dispute because Srikanth "Shrik" Srinivasan was being disrespectful and needlessly aggressive with Barbara Srinivasan.
“I hit him. I didn’t attack him,” Hernandez of Sebring said. “I hit him once and that was it.”
Barbara Srinivasan told an Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputy she recalls Hernandez used racial slurs for a black person against her husband, who has dark skin because he was from India.
“Then the guy just ended up and going and cold-cocking him,” Barbara Srinivasan said. “It was so loud.” Then he collapsed.
“He just fell back and hit his head,’’ she recalled through tears.
Shrik Srinivasan, 51, was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center in critical condition. A neurologist there opted against surgery, saying Srinivasan was “clinically brain dead."
His brain had herniated at the brainstem. A neurologist said there was no treatment.
Hernandez said he tried “de-escalate the issue” between the couple. He was originally charged with aggravated battery with great bodily harm.
In a court filing, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis D. Ayala upgraded the charge against Hernandez to manslaughter, saying he killed Srinivasan “without lawful justification or excuse.”
When her office shared the evidence with Hernandez and his attorney, it became public through a process called discovery.
Hernandez was released from jail after posting $3,500 bond.