Man charged with hitting Hard Exercise Works instructor with weight

Picture by Miami-Dade Police Department
Picture by Miami-Dade Police Department

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A West Palm Beach man faces charges for hitting a gym instructor with a weight.

Update, MON 12 PM: Dan Amato is being held without bond after his first court appearance on Monday in West Palm Beach.

Amato is accused of attacking a trainer at the Hard Exercise Works on Southern Boulevard in Wellington.

Prosecutors say Amato walked into the gym and attacked John Szarszewski.

Szarskewski's family says John is still in the intensive care unit and will need surgery.

They are hoping for a full recovery. "When the surgeons do go in, they better bring a welder with them," John's father Daniel said, "He's 6-foot-3, 220 pounds of twisted metal; they're going to make him whole."

Daniel Szarszewski is deputy chief of the Palm Beach Police Department.

At the time of the attack, Amato was out on bond after an incident in Miami-Dade County.

He is facing aggravated battery charges related to that incident.

Learn how to donate to the Szarszewski family

Previously: Daniel Amato, 40, is accused of striking the 25-year-old trainer with a five-pound plate in the middle of a class Thursday at Hard Exercise Works. Police say he then ran from the gym after being chased by several members and two off-duty sheriff's deputies who happened to be exercising at the time.

He was ultimately caught and taken into custody. The gym's owner told deputies Amato is the husband or ex-husband of a former gym member.

It's not known if he has an attorney. The Palm Beach Post reports the trainer was taken to the hospital with broken facial bones.

Copyright 2014 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.