Police body cam captures Sunday brawl at Banko Cantina in West Palm Beach
Police body cams and a video from a bystander caught a Sunday afternoon Florida bar brawl that included ineffective Tasers and an officer slinging a woman to the ground by her hair.
Now, there are arrest reports to compare officer accounts with the videos shot at West Palm Beach’s Banko Cantina.
Port St. Lucie’s Amandy Fountain, 31, and Shannon Chatman, 25, each wound up in Palm Beach County Jail with $4,000 bond on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence. A West Palm Beach police spokesman said the incident, like all incidents involving police use of force, will be investigated.
Court records don’t show a charge filed against Akeem McDonald, a 31-year-old physically taken down and pulled into the street after Taser clips found his T-shirt rather than his body.
The Fountain and McDonald confrontations were among the 22 minutes of police body camera footage that can be found on YouTube. It’s unclear whether any of the three were directly involved in the fight that drew West Palm Beach cops to the bar around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Officer Travis Limauro wrote in Fountain’s arrest report that he already was at Banko Cantina working a six-hour overtime shift when bouncers told him a fight broke out in the stairwell. Limauro wrote that he was trying to help get the crowd down the stairs.
Limauro’s narrative: “While on the bottom floor, a bouncer was trying to tell a black female, Amandy Fountain, to leave the club and wait outside. I then approached Fountain and asked her to step outside. Fountain aggressively yelled at me, ‘MAKE ME ------- LEAVE,’ then she punched me in my punch. I, then, struck her in the jaw and pushed her back because she was still trying to attack me. While on her back, she was kicking up at me to prevent me from placing her under arrest. I, then, shoved her legs to the side and pinned my arm across her chest to calm her down. At this time, with the help of Officer Zangara, I was able to place the handcuffs on Fountain.”
In the one-minute video that Port St. Lucie’s Jose Sotomayor posted on his Facebook page, you can see Fountain and McDonald being hustled out of the bar. But that’s after a lot of pushing and shoving in the bar between citizens and police end with Officer Kevin Harrell whipping Chatman to the ground by her hair.
Harrell wrote in Chatman’s arrest report that, like Limauro, he was working an overtime shift. Harrell’s narrative:
“As I walked into the establishment, I observed Officer Zangara and Limauro were attempting to break up a disturbance and place a male into custody. There were numerous patrons attempting to intervene our efforts while inside the establishment.
“While attempting to disperse the patrons around the officers, a female (identified as the defendant: Chatman, Shannon) attempted to intervene by pushing past me and then battered me by pushing me in the face. I grabbed the defendant by the hair and took the defendant to the ground and ordered her to roll over onto her stomach. The female regained her stance and began to be escorted by a female associate away from me as I was telling her she was going to be placed under arrest.
“I grabbed the defendant again by the back of the hair and began to escort her to my vehicle when a male (identified as her boyfriend) got between the defendant and myself in efforts not to have the defendant placed under arrest. I grabbed the defendant’s wrist to control her as she continued to resist arrest by pulling herself away from me as her boyfriend continued to intervene. She then escaped my hold and walked away from me as her boyfriend and another unidentified male continued to block me from making contact with her.
“The defendant eventually was able to be detained again, placed into handcuffs and escorted to my police unit.”