By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
It was July 28, shortly after several Dirty Blondes bouncers had thrown Alex Coelho and David Parker to the ground and stomped on Coelho's face, slashing open his forehead. Now, as Mark DeCarlo, who's worked off-duty at Dirty Blondes, appeared, Coelho pushed past his girlfriend. Newly surfaced video shows Coelho pointing a blood-slicked hand at the bouncers and cop standing together.
A crowd swelled around the confrontation, murmuring with anticipation. Coelho approached the cop, a bald man with a stomach like a potbelly stove, and spoke urgently while friends held him back. Then the cop shoved Coelho, and the crowd, creeping closer to the ballooning conflict, bellowed.
Parker shrieked at the officer. "Are you serious? We were sitting here — and are you fucking kidding me? You don't mind us getting beat up by them?"
229 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Fort Lauderdale
After Coelho again walked toward the bouncers, another officer appeared in the video, and the cops arrested Coelho for disorderly conduct and battery. One hour later, Parker was cited for disorderly conduct for "fighting with security" and resisting arrest. In the police report, DeCarlo claimed he "was trying to get information [from Coelho] as to what happened but he was so angry, he would not listen." He then alleged Coelho had "unprovoked... with both hands, pushed this officer in the chest." (The video appears to refute the latter allegation, and charges against Coelho have since been dismissed.)
The drama hit the beach like a flash squall. Midafternoon, the Tuesday after that Sunday brawl, the phone at Dirty Blondes wouldn't stop ringing. One man, who identified himself only as "a cousin" of Alex Coelho named "Laurence," dialed the bar more than ten times, vowing that he and some friends would soon "flip shit upside down," according to a police report.
But amid a cacophony of local and social media, several things quietly occurred. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department canceled its off-duty detail at Dirty Blondes. A.J. Yaari met with his beleaguered staff soon after city police arrested 29-year-old bouncer Arnald Thomas-Darrah on charges of felony assault. (Thomas-Darrah couldn't be reached for comment for this article.)
Yaari urged greater empathy for customers and ordered every staff member present not to speak to the media, according to two attendants. Then he dropped the news: He had fired the three bouncers involved in the grisly confrontation. Few thought the bouncers deserved to be fired. Not for that. The bouncers feel as though they're on the front line against hordes of unruly and often aggressive customers — and deserve a modicum of leniency.
One former manager agreed, saying, "You have to respect just how terrible the people on the Fort Lauderdale Beach are."
"They got persecuted for things that weren't out of line," said one bouncer who nonetheless expressed profound disdain for the violence of his job. "For two seconds of misjudgment, they look like bad people. Just because you lose a fight doesn't make you a victim."
Indeed, everyone interviewed for this article wants more cops, who are better-resourced and better-trained than bouncers. "No one cares what a bouncer has to say, so thank God the cops are down here and get paid or else we'd be dead," one current Dirty Blondes doorman says. "These people down here, they are out of control, going day and night and don't even sleep."
Mayor Jack Seiler maintains that privately funded cops do tremendous good. "I'd like to see more off-duty details," he said when New Times questioned whether off-duty cops have done enough to hold aggressive bouncers accountable. "I haven't seen a single case where an officer has done a single thing improper."
At midnight on a Saturday late last month, as tourists mobbed most beach spots like Elbo Room and Rock Bar, Dirty Blondes, normally crazed at this point in the night, was dead. Bouncer Albert Wareham sighed at the front of the bar, a black security shirt stretched across his broad back. Months have passed since the auburn-haired man was charged with simple battery for allegedly following a 21-year-old patron out of the bar and delivering four crushing blows to his face. Though it was witnessed by two people and his trial is only weeks away, Wareham wasn't fired.
So for now, he quietly waits through his shift near the entrance, pale arms crossed, eyes swiveling across the bar.
investigate the owners with criminal connections,and sale of extasy that is controlled by the israeli-russian mafia,and yes the local fbi office needs internal investigation.
Ok, Mr. Mayor you cant hide on this one! What are your plans for this corrupt activity ! Maybe just lose the City is an option
This is one of the things that killed Baja Beach Club in the Grove as well. As a former bouncer I can tell you with some validity that there is really no need to be douchebags like the ones at Dirty Blondes to do the job. Sure you have to deal with drunk assholes, so you get them yank them out of the club and goodbye. I never got paid enough money to exert myself that much in dealing with an asshole.
So why hasn't someone gone to that club and murdered those bouncers? That is what I would do. Nut up or shut up, is what I say!
...........................i would also offer that since "boys will be boys" and that alcohol and bath saltz and who knows what other mind and mood altering substances are injested by patrons and bouncers and bar owners operators................LET THESE places simply go somewhere else - GET THEM OFF THE BEACH = period - let the animals and savages and neaderthals have at each other under a bridge or down a dark alley SOMEWHERE ELSE in ft liquordale - then they could kill each other altogether and the CIVILIZED society can enjoy the beach without fear
URBAN WEEK got out of hand and police shot 106 bullets into a car two years ago - MORE POLICE are not the answer, bringing in the National Guard is not the answer, having the SWAT TEAM on the roof of the ELBO ROOM is NOT the answer, putting a police sub-station in the lobby of the RITZ CARLTON is not the answer = the answer is sweeping away these "stages" of insanity to some other location where they can pursue their savage and uncivlized clashes of the mental mindless and egotistical steroid-fuel physical combatants
Count me in. Constantly looking over my shoulder for uneducated meat-head hooliganism is not really my vibe when I'm trying to chill with a few drinks and a few friends. I will never enter into one of these establishments again. There's only one reason people become "bouncers" instead of joining any reputable security establishment (PD, Brinks, etc), and that is: prior arrest records. They are basically just thugs trying to eke out a living by doing what they do best: acting aggressively and without any type of tact or thought.
................................well now we have become ground zero for all the neanderthals to come here and challenge the status quo with upcomming SMACKDOWNs and HOULIGANISM from the savages from all parts of the globe
why the FT LAUDERDALA POLICE department bungled the initial investigation and took over a week to "change their tune" when the video came to light is a disgrace to the department which has no other reason than COVER-UP to explain its action - WHICH we should ALL hope is not the case
Off-duty policy. All you need to know. Essentially no police reports will be filed because they threaten you (victim) with arrest for trespassing, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Protects the bar against lawsuits because there will be no police records of the incident. Only you the victim being told to leave.
@JohnnySwift Only in the movies, but it's a movie I'd watch and I suspect so would a lot of other people.
@MrGumsandals - Only in the movies?!? That kind of stuff happens all the time. Some dude gets kicked out a club, gets mad, and comes back with a gun and shoots the place up. If I was ever treated like that I would shoot those guys dead. I ain't afraid of jail. been there, done that. I ain't about to get punked by dudes like that, though.