A video has surfaced that shows a long-time UNF professor wailing a 2-by-4 at his contractor after an argument broke out about a billing dispute, according to police reports.
Dr. Tayeb Giuma, an associate engineering professor with over 20 years of service to UNF, refuses to give specific details about his Sept. 25 arrest.
He was arrested in September for attacking Dustin Brown, president of All True Construction, who was building Giuma a gazebo, and charged with simple battery, according to the police report.
If found guilty, Giuma could spend up to one year in jail because of the state of Florida’s simple battery laws.
In light of the attack and Giuma’s history, he should not be allowed to keep his job, Brown said.
Giuma told the police Brown attacked him outside his home, but after Brown recommended that the police review a video surveillance tape from a neighbor’s house, police realized the video backed Brown’s story that Giuma instigated the fight, according to the report.
Then Giuma changed his story, saying he was attacked in his home before taking the altercation outside, the report said.
Giuma said the media is only reporting one side of the story and said he was attacked in his home.
“You are always innocent until proven guilty,” he told the Spinnaker.
Giuma refused to give out any more information, citing he needed to talk to his lawyers tomorrow.
However, he told the Spinnaker this was “not a big deal.”
But the physical fight inside the home never happened, Brown said.
Brown was in Giuma’s kitchen discussing the bill over a glass of water, when Giuma began getting angry over the bill and over what Brown and Giuma previously agreed on for labor costs, Brown said.
Giuma also called Brown a “dumb redneck,” Brown told the Spinnaker.
The surveillance video from the neighbor’s shows Giuma grabbing an object, a screwdriver, according to the police report.
Then Giuma put it down and grabbed a 2-by-4 and then began waling at Brown.
Brown sustained a large bruise on his back but did not need medical attention, Brown said.
“If I knew there was video, I would have beat the shit out of [Giuma],” Brown told the Spinnaker.
UNF is undergoing an internal investigation in association with general counsel said Sharon Ashton, spokeswoman for UNF.
Giuma is aware of the investigation, Ashton said.
The investigation is independent of the criminal charges, she said.
Giuma does have a history with the police.
In 1999, he was arrested and charged with a felony count of child abuse.
According to the police report: Giuma’s daughter was using the telephone when she wasn’t allowed to be. For punishment, he used a belt and tied his daughter’s hands behind her back sitting her in a chair outside his room to spend the night. He forced his daughter to stay home from school for the next three days. The police noticed a busted blister on the girl’s wrist. Giuma also told the police this not a normal punishment.
Charges on this case were later dropped.