Florida Keys

He beat his girlfriend in front of a crowd, cops say. Then he challenged the crowd


Justin Wiesman didn’t stop at punching his girlfriend and shoving her to the ground in front of a crowd late Friday night in Key West, police said.

Wiesman, 35, of Key West then threatened to fight members of the crowd in front of officers and, once in handcuffs, said he would kill his arresting officer, according to the arrest report.

“On our way to ... jail, Wiesman threatened my life multiple times,” Officer Frank Duponty wrote in the arrest report. “Wiesman stated he would kick my ass even with handcuffs on.”

Wiesman remained locked up Tuesday in the Stock Island jail on $4,500 bond, arrested on charges of felony domestic battery and one misdemeanor count each of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

While Wiesman told police he had been jumped, officers said they couldn’t find witnesses to back him up — only people who said Wiesman had punched his girlfriend and pushed her down outside of Mr. Z’s pizza at Southard and Duval streets before midnight Friday.

The sight of a shirtless man attacking a woman immediately drew a crowd, which didn’t embarrass Wiesman. Police said he began challenging the group of 10 to 12 people in an aggressive manner and tried to “verbally entice” one man to fight.

“He clenched his fists and was in the guy’s face,” Duponty reported.

Wiesman refused to cooperate with police during his arrest, Duponty said, and got into the police cruiser only after being threatened with a Taser drive stun.

Wiesman faces a felony domestic battery charge because he has two prior domestic battery convictions out of Ohio, police said. One conviction was in Dayton in 2008 and the other in Middleton in 2002.

While police said Wiesman had been drinking and described the incident as alcohol-related, nowhere does the report state he was intoxicated. He did give his home address as that of a sober living house in the 2000 block of Patterson Avenue run by the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition.

That wasn’t the case for his girlfriend of about five months, who was slurring her words and told police she couldn’t remember her Social Security number. The woman repeatedly asked officers not to jail her boyfriend while sporting multiple bruises on her arm and some on her shoulder, police said. She refused medical treatment

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen