Boca Raton City Worker Jailed for Aggravated Battery of Day Laborer

Donell Allison Jr., 33, of Lauderdale Lakes had a long criminal history including convictions for misdemeanor battery, and battery in a domestic violence case. He previously served nine months behind bars for his misdemeanor battery guilty plea. In that case which occurred in Jan. 2007 he was initially accused of two felony charges, one of them being aggravated battery on a pregnant woman.

Allison is an employee of the City of Boca Raton’s Recreation Services department. Last week, he was again arrested and taken into custody, accused of violently beating a day laborer causing him serious head injuries. He is now being held in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail and has been placed on unpaid leave since the incident transpired.

But Boca Raton Assistant City Manager Michael Woika maintains that a previous criminal conviction “does not automatically disqualify” an individual from being hired by the city.

Allison apparently took exception to his lunch being handled and moved by another worker, Raul Reynoso, who is over twenty years, his senior. According to Boca Raton Police, Reynoso, 55 sustained a fractured skull, a fractured orbital bone, numerous facial lacerations and a brain hemorrhage. The arrest report also mentioned that Reynoso experienced seizures after the battering occurred.

Police say that Reynoso was routinely working at his job as a landscaper for a contractor in the employ of the city. That day he was working at the Boca Raton Library located at 400 Northwest 2nd Avenue when he was hauled into the altercation with Allison, 33.

Witnesses told police that Reynoso climbed into a city work truck after it began to rain heavily. According to the police report, Reynoso moved Allison’s lunch out of his way as he was getting into the truck. Seeing this, Allison became very agitated and pushed Reynoso, slamming him against the open driver’s side rear door.

Still apparently enraged after he pushed Reynoso out of the truck, he violently punched him in the face. He then wrapped his arms around Reynoso, placing him in a bear hug just before he slammed him head first into the sidewalk, according to police.

Reynoso, a resident of North Lauderdale was originally taken to Boca Raton Regional Hospital but the severity of his injuries caused him to be transported in a “trauma alert.” status. He was then dispatched to the Delray Beach Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.

After the seemingly one-sided altercation abated, the City Manager was asked for further comment in regard to his imprisoned employee. He declined to specifically contribute further reference about Allison in particular, but did say that “the city is distressed that something like this happened.”

Allison has again been accused of aggravated battery, a charge he seems to have become accustomed to. Before this latest incident he’d been arrested six times for comparable charges commencing since 2006.

One of Reynoso’s friends who visited him in the hospital said he was “in an out” of consciousness, but he was told by an attending physician that his friend was anticipated to recover. Reynoso has worked with Pacesetters, Inc. since 2011, which is a contractor for the city of Boca Raton.


It is common for the crime of battery to be confused with the crime of assault. In the State of Florida the crime of battery is different from assault at it involves actual physical contact and not just a threat of bodily injury. Intentionally striking or even touching another individual without their consent can cause you to be charged with this violation of the law if the result of your actions causes them bodily harm.

The potential penalty for battery can sustain a prison term of up to one year in jail and fines reaching $1,000. It is categorized as a first degree misdemeanor. However, after a first conviction, continuing occurrences of a battery charge can result in up to 5 years in prison and would then be labeled a third degree felony.

Aggravated battery is considered the most serious of assault charges under Florida law. It is considered a second degree felony which can carry a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years as well as fines topping out at $10,000.

Very serious criminal charges can be brought against an individual if it’s alleged that they have caused great bodily harm and/or permanent disfigurement to another in the commission of a battery as well as if a deadly weapon is used to commit the act. This circumstance also applies if it is committed against a woman who is or was pregnant with the accused having knowledge of the pregnancy.

If you, a friend or a loved one is facing allegations of any type of the above listed acts of battery it is essential that a knowledgeable criminal attorney is retained as soon as possible.

Mr. Cohen is a board certified criminal trial lawyer rated AV by Martindale Hubbel (pre-eminent) and a “Super Lawyer” recognized as being in the top 5% of his specialized field (criminal trial law) among Florida lawyers. He is considered a specialist by the Florida Bar in his field. Mr. Cohen has tried scores of cases over his 35 year career and is a member of the Florida and New York Bars. He practices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami, among other counties. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Second Circuit.

Mr. Cohen’s practice has recently expanded and he is now a partner in the prestigious law firm of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP. Through this partnership, Mr. Cohen can now lead your defense in the New York Metropolitan area in addition to the Broward, Dade, or Palm Beach County areas as well as all other jurisdictions throughout the state of Florida
Mr. Cohen is also listed in the 2013 edition of “Best Lawyers in America