Flotsam

Miami's Hottest Backyard Party Devolved Into a Drunken, Mango-Throwing Brawl With Cops

The arrest report is, at first glance, your standard South Florida fare. Location: a house party in South Miami. Suspect: an 18-year-old kid. Charges: battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Then, however, there is the rather unusual weapon, listed in parentheses like an afterthought: mango.

The backstory behind the fruit-versus-cop incident isn't just bizarre. It's also a sneak peek into one of this city's hottest events -- wild bacchanals called Sharkface Backyard Parties, run by an 18-year-old who says he's related to one of Miami's most famous families.

"I don't like telling people that they are the best parties in town because I don't want to sound immodest," says Alex Balart, the young man behind the shows. "But this is everything I ever wanted in a party, and the universe just gave it to me."

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.