On a sweltering September morning last year, Adrian Henriquez and five friends hopped onto a yacht he'd chartered and set out for an afternoon cruise on Biscayne Bay. The group planned to shoot footage for an upcoming music video.
Shortly after the luxury yacht left the Miami Beach Marina, one of the six passengers began smoking a cigar. But the seemingly innocuous display sent their captain, Robert Nobles, into a rage. That's when, the passengers say, Nobles "became agitated, belligerent, and aggressive."
The argument escalated to unnecessary heights as Nobles unleashed his inexplicable anger, plunging a Taser into the stomach of passenger Javier Arbolaez. The shebang ended only when Arbolaez was able to wrestle away the Taser and throw it overboard.
"It was a crazy afternoon on the water, typical Miami," says the passengers' attorney, Domingo Rodriguez, who filed a lawsuit on their behalf last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
The complaint filed by the six friends names Nobles and the company he worked for, Miami VIP Tours, as defendants. The passengers say the incident on their afternoon cruise left them not only with serious bodily injuries but also extreme mental anguish.
"The people who were on the boat weren't doing anything illegal or unusual," Rodriguez says. "They just chartered this boat to go out and have a good time... and he lost his cool."
Back at the dock that day, Nobles, a 35-year-old boat captain from Fort Lauderdale, was arrested by Miami police for aggravated battery. Although an arrest report identifies Arbolaez as the victim who was tasered, the lawsuit says all six passengers were tasered, physically struck, or threatened by Nobles.
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"[Arbolaez] was probably the first person
A manager at Miami VIP Tours contacted by New Times believes the suit was intended for a competitor with a similar name, saying the company doesn't have a captain named Robert Nobles in its database. Nobles didn't return a call seeking comment, and his attorney, Dan Callahan, declined to respond to the allegations in the lawsuit.
The criminal case against Nobles is still pending in court, though the charge of aggravated battery — a felony — has been reduced to a simple misdemeanor battery.
Any plans the passengers had that day appear to have been scrapped: Rodriguez says the music video was never completed.