Fatal Dania Beach standoff sparked by dispute over $65, police say [Sun Sentinel :: ]
(South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 23--A groundskeeper who died 10 days after having his skull crushed during a dispute over $65 was making a stand for money he believed he was due, a witness said.
Issa Asad, who owned the Dania Beach property where Michael Kramer was working, is accused of deliberately running over Kramer with his 2014 Mercedes S550 during the standoff.
"He tacked on more work than Mike had signed up for," said Steve Sanick, who was working with Kramer and witnessed the July 5 incident. "At the end of the day when it came time for them to cash out, settle up, whatever, Mike just wanted to get f---- paid for his work."
The men were wrapping up the landscape-related job on commercial property at 499 Sheridan St. when Asad showed up about 4:30 p.m.
While arguing with Asad, Kramer positioned himself in front of Asad's Mercedes. Asad inched forward and said: "If you don't move, I'm going to run you over," according to an arrest affidavit. He "hit the gas" and mowed Kramer down, the affidavit said.
Kramer, 50, of Hollywood, suffered multiple skull fractures and never regained consciousness. He died July 15 "from complications from crushing force injuries to the head," the affidavit said.
Asad, 41, of Davie, is being held without bond on a murder charge in the Broward Main Jail.
"We have no comment," a woman who identified herself as Asad's wife said when reached by telephone Tuesday.
Paul Calli, who called the Sun Sentinel and identified himself as Asad's defense attorney, also declined to comment.
According to Asad's LinkedIn profile, he is founder and CEO of Q Link Wireless, a discount/prepaid phone company, and has established "a multi-hundred million dollar a year industry" since venturing into the telecom business more than 15 years ago.
Court records show that after a 1995 arrest in Pembroke Pines, Asad pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a police officer and was sentenced to three months probation.
Charges from a 1992 arrest by Miami-Dade police for assault and resisting arrest without violence were eventually dismissed, as were two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony cruelty toward a child stemming from a 2003 arrest by Pembroke Pines, records show.
Sanick said he had known Kramer all of 15 hours.
"He was a nice guy, he seemed gregarious, easy to work with," Sanick said. "I worked with him for one day; we went back on Saturday to continue Friday's work. It was supposed to be a one-day job but the guy piled on more work."
Although Kramer lived at his small Fillmore Street apartment complex for just a few months, Tracy Jackson said her next-door neighbor was kind, would pitch in when she was a few dollars short, and once babysat her four children.
"I feel like he lost his life for nothing," she said.
Another neighbor, Melissa Ross, said she visited Kramer while he was hospitalized, stroked his arm and offered a few encouraging words while he lay in a coma.
"I told him, 'Thank you, for everything you've done for me and my kids," Ross aid. "I told him me and my kids missed him over here, but there was no response."
Staff writer Erika Pesantes contributed to this report.
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