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South Florida Doctor Facing Felony Charges For Allegedly Attacking Hispanic Man At Publix

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CBS4's Keith Jones reports on the arrest of Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright.

Video Transcript

- Now at 7:00, a South Florida doctor is facing felony charges for allegedly attacking a man outside a Publix in Hialeah.

- Police say the suspect went into a rage after the victim asked her to keep her distance. CBS 4's Keith Jones is here now with those details. Keith?

KEITH JONES: Look, it's happened to all of us, right? You're at the grocery store, a Walmart, a big box store, and someone gets a little too close to you, at least for your comfort. You either remove yourself from the situation, or you kindly ask them to move back. The victim in this case thought he was being diplomatic. But according to police, the good doctor didn't like it.

It's not a picture for the annals of modern medicine. It's not the story you would expect. This is 53-year-old Dr. Jennifer Wright, an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai on Miami Beach. She's charged with battery with prejudice, tampering with a victim, and criminal mischief, all of which comes as a surprise to her neighbors.

JOEL LAZARA: She's a good neighbor. I mean, you know, she help out with us. You know, she's friendly. She's being neighborly.

KEITH JONES: According to Hialeah police, Dr. Wright was at this Publix when she apparently got too close to a man at the checkouts. The victim asked her first in Spanish, then in English to please keep her distance. Wright supposedly muttered some colorful language under her breath.

After paying for her items, police say she followed the man to the parking lot calling him a piece of expletive. We should have burned you all. This is my country. Again, something Joel Lazara never saw coming.

JOEL LAZARA: Everybody has their views, and we respect that. She respect everybody's views. It's just one of those unfortunate account.

KEITH JONES: According to the arrest report, Dr. Wright then punched the man in the face and then dragged her keys along the entire side of his car. Her political views seem to follow that of the far right's local documentary filmmaker Billy Corben. Found these on Wright's social media before she took them down. One photo shows Dr. Wright donning a MAGA, memes depicting "it's OK to be white," and "world knows Trump won #MAGA."

JOEL LAZARA: We have no problem with her. We've been leaving her-- as our neighbor for quite a while now. It's just so unfortunate.


KEITH JONES: We knocked on Dr. Wright's door, wanting to give her a chance to tell her side of the story, and that's what Lazara is waiting to hear.

JOEL LAZARA: Everybody has their story. We haven't heard a story about what really happened. So we have to be fair. I mean, you know, we're already judging her by her action, but something happened that might have provoked her to do it.

KEITH JONES: It appears Dr. Wright has lost her privileges with Mount Sinai Medical Center. The hospital released this statement saying, "Mount Sinai's top priority is the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees. To the extent that we are aware of an incident involving any employee or contractor, the appropriate agencies and authorities have our full cooperation at this time. Dr. Jennifer Wright is no longer responsible for patient care, pending the completion of a full investigation."

Dr. Wright did bond out of jail. The next step in this process is to appear before another judge. Reporting live tonight in Miami Springs, Keith Jones, CBS 4 News.