Cops: Rapper on the run after beating Winter Haven barber with metal baton

Polk County

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Winter Haven police are searching for a rapper who is accused of attacking a barber with a metal baton.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Jose Fernando Rivera Morales, age 32, a rapper who goes by the name of “Kendo Kaponi.”

Investigators say Morales and another man attacked Jon Erik Baez-Molano behind the Custom Kuts located at 110 Central Ave. W. in Winter Haven.

Baez-Molano is a barber who works at Custom Kuts. He was leaving the business through the back door around 8:30 p.m. on July 28 when he was attacked after getting into his vehicle.

Detectives say Morales pulled Baez-Molano out of the vehicle and started beating him with a metal baton while another man repeatedly punched Baez-Molano. The other man then picked up a piece of wood and beat him. A third Hispanic male was seen recording the incident.

After the beating, Morales and the other suspect got into Baez-Molano’s vehicle and took his wallet which fell to the floorboard when he was dragged out.

The three men then left the area. Baez-Molano was transported to Winter Haven Hospital where he was treated and released.

Detectives say Baez-Molano has known Morales since 2005. They do not know what provoked the attack.

Morales is from Puerto Rico. Police say he is reportedly an up-and-coming rapper with the stage name of “Kendo Kaponi.” He recently performed in the Orlando area.

Morales is charged with Armed Burglary with Assault/Battery, Aggravated Battery and Petit Theft .

If you have information that can help detectives, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). Callers will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a CASH reward of up to $3,000.

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