Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Report of Conch House Brawl Details Several Vicious Beatings; Prosecutors Looking into Actions of Security Guards at Restaurant

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Report of Conch House Brawl Details Several Vicious Beatings; Prosecutors Looking into Actions of Security Guards at Restaurant

Article excerpt

Byline: Dana Treen

Four security guards punched and kicked patrons at a St. Augustine restaurant during a crowded Memorial Day weekend event and in one case threw an unconscious man into the water where he was fished out by his fiancee, according to witness statements released Wednesday by police.

In the statements and reports sent to the State Attorney's Office, police said the Conch House restaurant guards battered five people, including some who were there together, and shoved others around following a spat when one woman threw a drink at another.

Prosecutors have not decided if charges outlined by police will be filed against the four men, said State Attorney's Office spokesman Spencer Hathaway. He said the documents had not been received Wednesday.

"No one has been arrested yet," Hathaway said. He said it was not clear how long the investigation would take.

Ramel Jontue Dixon, 36, and Chris Rivera Hernandez, 31, both of Jacksonville; Adam James Frez, 31, of St. Augustine; and Michael Lee McClendon, 28, of Atlantic Beach, were working as security during a weekly reggae music concert at the restaurant overlooking Salt Run just off the Intracoastal Waterway.

Frez is being investigated on three charges of simple battery, Dixon on two counts and Hernandez and McClendon on one apiece, documents sent to prosecutors said.

According to police interviews and video clips reviewed by investigators, bouncers first confronted two women after one threw a drink on the other. Witnesses said the bouncers became overly aggressive when a man who was with one of the women tried to keep them apart.

Bruno Abreau, 29, of Palm Coast was knocked unconscious when he was thrown to the deck, then was kicked, according to witness statements. A second man who confronted the guards was grabbed around the neck and punched by several bouncers. …

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