Charges dropped against 2 men in Lauderdale beach brawl
08/30/2013 7:10 PM
08/30/2013 7:53 PM
The State Attorney’s Office has dropped all charges against two people involved in a violent fight that was caught on video in front of a Fort Lauderdale Beach bar.
A 15-second video that captured the July 28 brawl at Dirty Blondes went viral after it was posted on Instagram.
The brawl starts with a large man wearing a black T-shirt labeled “Security” grabbing one of the patrons outside the Dirty Blondes Bar, dragging him and then slamming him to the ground. Other bouncers then punch and shove another patron, knocking over tables and chairs in the process, and kick him repeatedly in the head.
Off to the side, a blonde woman throws a punch. Eventually, one of the injured men gets up, clutches his wounds, and runs off. The bouncer exclaims, “Have a good day, go home!” and the video ends shortly after.
The two injured patrons, Alexander Coelho, 29, of Pembroke Pines and David Parker, 28, of Sunrise, later returns to the bar, at 229 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., and challenged the bouncers to a fight, according to police. By that time, Fort Lauderdale Police were on the scene.
They asked Coelho and Parker to explain what happened, but the two men were so angry that police ended up arrested them, charging them with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Coelho also was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges after prosecutors determined that there was no likelihood of getting a conviction against them, according to a spokesman.
“Mr. Coelho and I were relieved by the news of all charges being dropped," Coelho’s lawyer, David A. Eddy, said in a written statement. "As we have steadfastly maintained that Mr. Coelho was the victim of the brutal assault and battery by the employees of Dirty Blondes."
After seeing the 15-second video, police officers decided to charge one bouncers, Arnald Thomas-Darrah, 30, of Oakland Park, with felony aggravated battery.
Dirty Blondes initially posted an apology for the incident on its Facebook page, but the bar has since deleted its page.
Another Facebook page, this one called “Boycott Dirty Blondes,” went up soon after the brawl. The page attempted to identify the bouncers, and claimed that some of them have criminal records.
As of Friday, the “Boycott” page had 9,000 “likes.”
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