Jesse Montez Thorton allegedly “became hostile” after being asked to move from VIP seats purchased by 63-year-old Marc Cohen and his wife at a screening in July, and their verbal altercation quickly turned physical.
A video capturing the incident showed Mr Thorton punch Mr Cohen, who loses his balance and falls into a rail and to the floor down the steps, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Mr Thorton is seen standing above Mr Cohen repeatedly punching him in the face until witnesses rushed to the latter’s aid and pulled Mr Thorton off him.
CCTV footage from the movie theatre later shows Mr Thorton and a woman leaving the theatre.
Mr Cohen suffered several injuries to his head and face and was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment.
Detectives worked on the case for months, and received multiple leads and tips, which led to the identification of Mr Thorton and his arrest on Thursday.
The investigation continues.
“This guy just kept staring at me instead of getting up,” Mr Cohen told NBC 6 in July.
“I said to the people at this point, who didn’t apologise or say thank you, I said ‘you guys can just keep the seats’. As I’m walking away, he said ‘go run to your wife little boy’.
“So I turned around and I said ‘you know I’m not the one who’s being a little boy, you took my seats and you didn’t apologise or you didn’t say thank you and I let you keep them’.
“He jumped up, he wanted to fight me, he backed me up, I fell over the stairs and as soon as I fell down the stairs, it was like a boxer being against the ropes, this guy just went to town on me.”