Bouncers in viral Fort Lauderdale bar-brawl video face charges

08/04/2013 7:58 PM

08/04/2013 8:20 PM

One of the bouncers who appears in a viral video of a brawl outside a Fort Lauderdale beachfront bar a week ago has been arrested and charged with felony battery.

Arnald Thomas-Darrah, 30, was arrested Sunday by Fort Lauderdale police at his Oakland Park home after he and the other bouncers were identified by one of the victims.

Police said Alexander Coelho, 29, contacted them Friday and provided a full report of the July 28 incident at the Dirty Blondes bar, 229 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., and filed a police report on Saturday.

The report indicates that Coelho and his friends were inside the bar and got into an argument with one of the bartenders, who asked the three to leave. They did so, but also asked to speak with a manager.

Things escalated outside as Coelho and his friends continued to demand to speak with a manager and Thomas-Darrah and the other bouncers continued to ask them to leave, according to the report.

At that point, the incident depicted in the viral cellphone video began.

Another bouncer, Jovan Dean, 35, grabbed David Parker, 28, dragged him and slammed him to the ground, police said. Thomas-Darrah and the other bouncers then punched and shoved Coelho, knocking over tables and chairs in the process, and kicked him repeatedly in the head.

Coelho then got up, clutched his wounds, and ran away. A bouncer identified as Dean is heard to exclaim, “Have a good day. Go home!” as the video ends.

Dean will be charged with misdemeanor battery, police said. Records show he was charged with battery in 2001 in a domestic incident, but that case was dismissed.

Fort Lauderdale police officers who arrived after the brawl asked Coelho and Parker to calm down and explain what had happened. The two didn’t initially comply, and were arrested and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Coelho was also charged with battery on a law-enforcement officer. Both bonded out of jail.

Coelho was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where he received six stitches over his right eye and several over his left eye, the police report said.

The two men are being represented by the CEM law firm of Fort Lauderdale. Christopher Mijares, a partner at the firm, was adamant about making an example of the bouncers.

“Improper conduct on the part of any business operating on the beach, or anywhere in our city for that matter, that leads to this type of a situation simply will not be allowed to stand, and we will be pursuing the full measure of our clients’ damages,” Mijares said in a statement. “This can never happen again, anywhere.”

On social media, the Facebook group “Boycott Dirty Blondes,” which has more than 8,000 “likes,” applauded the arrest.

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service