Medina also failed to achieve popularity on YouTube, where he had more self-posted videos — 143 — than viewers, until the killing of his wife.
Most of the videos show a young man trying very hard to be macho: revving the engine of the red ’72 Javelin, attempting billiards trick shots, hitting baseballs in a batting cage, playing shoot-’em-up video games and making 10 basketball shots in a row. Others show him running track races, playing beer pong and driving golf balls. One clip shows Medina calling La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach to protest its November ouster of Michael Jordan for violating the club’s no-cargo-shorts policy. The call was sent to voicemail.
A 25-second snippet, posted two days before Alfonso’s killing, features Medina, dressed in a black suit and tie, grinning while kickboxing a heavy bag. That video, Work hard play hard part2, has garnered about 100,000 views since Aug. 8.
Medina claimed to be an experienced martial-arts fighter when he went to a class years ago at Freestyle Fighting Academy in West Miami-Dade, gym co-owner Marcos Avellan said.
When an instructor tried to correct his fighting stance, Medina “took offense and challenged the instructor to a fight,” Avellan said. Medina lost.
“Derek started shouting that the instructor ‘cheated’ and that he wanted a rematch. The instructor asked him to leave and never return,” Avellan said.
After the incident, Medina posted a series of videos on YouTube where he staged a re-creation of the class fight.
“He then went as far as to buy a title belt and even engraved the name of the instructor on the belt, claiming he was awarded the belt for defeating the instructor,” the gym owner said. “It is because of these crazy videos that I remember him by name to this day. He was definitely off his rocker.”
Off-putting videos were also part of what caused Medina’s former pal Joe to pull away from their relationship. Joe recalled a time a few years ago when he was playing in an adult-league softball game that Medina was not a part of.
“The next day or whatever, Derek posts a video on Facebook of people playing softball, and — guess what? — it was us,” Joe said. “We didn’t even know he was filming us. That was creepy.”
But what Joe said really pushed him away from Medina was an incident one recent summer at the Mayhem Festival, a heavy-metal concert in West Palm Beach. Someone accidentally spilled beer on Alfonso, and Medina reacted by pulling out a handgun.
“That was like, ‘What the heck, man?’ ” Joe said. “None of us knew he had a gun. I don’t even think his wife knew. At that point, I was like, ‘This is it. I’m not dealing with this guy anymore.’ ”
Medina’s aggressive, brooding, gun-wielding side stands in stark contrast to the self-help author who refers to himself as “Emotional Writer” and has filmed himself in a car singing along to Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone. After appearing for a few seconds in a non-speaking role in an episode of USA Network’s Burn Notice, which filmed in Miami, Medina took to calling himself an actor.