Miami New Times 10.17.13 : Page 22

miaminewtimes.com | music | cafe | film | art | stage | Night+Day | metro | riptiDe | letters | coNteNts | MiaMi New TiMes browardpalmbeach.com | MUSIC | DISH | FILM | ART | STAGE | NIGHT+DAY | NEWS | PULP | CONTENTS | NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH Beat Down from p20 employees or causing problems for a busi-ness that’s paying them $600 per week.” Another manager recalls a frequent oc-currence at bars owned by Yaari and Avidor. “If some kid walks into Dirty Blondes and bouncers sic on him and punch him in the face, the cop yells [at the patron], ‘You need to leave!’ And if he says, ‘Wait a second, the bouncer just beat me up in there,’ the cops aren’t interested. It’s in their interest to side to side with the bar in every altercation.” lex, if you love me, will you please stop?” the blond woman pleaded with the battered man. Her features twisted in alarm. He was just bleeding so much. She reached for his bare chest and sought his azure eyes hiding somewhere amid the crimson splashed across his face. “If you love me,” Stephanie Parker murmured again, clutching his arm, “will you please stop?” It was July 28, shortly after several Dirty Blondes bouncers had thrown Alex Coehlo and David Parker to the ground and stomped on Coehlo’s face, slash-ing open his forehead. Now, as Mark DeCarlo, who’s worked off-duty at Dirty Blondes, appeared, Coehlo pushed past his girlfriend. Newly surfaced video shows Coehlo pointing a blood-slicked hand at the bouncers and cop standing together. A crowd swelled around the confronta-tion, murmuring with anticipation. Coehlo approached the cop, a bald man with a stom-ach like a potbelly stove, and spoke urgently while friends held him back. Then the cop shoved Coehlo, 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?” After Coehlo again walked toward the bouncers, another officer appeared in the video, and the cops arrested Coehlo for dis-orderly 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 Coehlo] as to what happened but he was so angry, he would not listen.” He then alleged Coehlo had “unprovoked... with both hands, pushed this officer in the chest.” (The video appears to refute the latter allegation, and charges against Coehlo have since been dismissed.) A Joseph Laney 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 Coehlo 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 can-celed 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 at-tendants. Then he dropped the news: He had fired the three bouncers involved in the grisly confrontation. Few thought the bouncers de-served to be fired. Not for that. The bouncers feel as though they’re on the front line against hordes of unruly and often aggressive cus-tomers — 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 con-trol, going day and night and don’t even sleep.” Mayor Jack Seiler maintains that pri-vately 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 of-ficer 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 deliver-ing 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. Terrence.McCoy@MiamiNewTimes.com 22 22 O ctOber 17-O ctOber 23, 2013 M ONTH XX–M ONTH XX, 2012

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