A man was arrested at the Coastland Center mall Tuesday after a witness said he beat a girl unconscious for spurning his advances.
An officer from the Naples Police Department responded to a call at around 4 p.m. regarding a fight in the food court. Bruce Gordon, 37, told the officer that he had struck the victim, who police say is a juvenile, in self-defense after she had accosted him unprovoked.
But a witness reported that Gordon had responded violently after the victim had refused Gordon’s flirtation with her in the Panda Express line. The witness said Gordon swore at her, left, then returned to punch her repeatedly in the face and then kick her and stomp on her as she lay unconscious on the ground, not stopping until a bystander hurled a chair at him.
One witness says Gordon could have killed her, had the bystander not stopped the attack.
For him, it was just a normal lunch break and he was excited for the Panda Express he was about to have.
“Directly in front of me was a 17-year-old looking girl with what appeared to be her grandmother,” the witness said.
He says Bruce Gordon approached the girl on a mission. “I guess he wanted to start some sort of romantic relationship with her but he was very close and very intrusive,” recalls the witness.
The victim said no and wanted Gordon to get away from her. “It seemed to just happen and fizzle away. The suspect then walked away,” said the witness.
But the incident was far from over. Gordon came back, and the witness says, approached the victim at the table she was sitting at. “Delivered this blow to the person’s face and the victim immediately fell like a sack of potatoes. If I were hit in that manner I would have fallen in the same way,” he said. The witness describes her body as lifeless, lying there on the ground.
“Then after that, he was continually pummeling while she was on the floor completely unresponsive,” said the witness. “The kind of beating that he delivered to this girl just looked like to me he had every intention of killing her.
Bystanders began throwing chairs at Gordon. The witness, himself, yelled at Gordon and began following him, taking pictures for evidence. He was waiting for the police to show up.
The witness just hopes justice is served. “This person I don’t believe should be allowed to live amongst us. He needs to be locked up. And they need to throw away the key because this person is completely deranged,” he said.
The victim was taken to Naples Community Hospital and treated for a severe concussion as well as many injuries to her head, jaw, face and lips. Police say the girl is still unconscious.
Gordon was taken into custody, and the victim’s mother intends to seek prosecution on her daughter’s behalf. He faces a felony charge due to a prior battery conviction.