Fort Lauderdale Police Have Known Beach Bouncers Were "Heavy Handed" For Years -- And Nothing Changed

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The Fort Lauderdale Police Department, which recently came under scrutiny when a New Times investigation exposed how its loose off-duty detail policy has abetted bouncer violence at beach bars, has known security personnel at such establishments are too aggressive since at least 2010, according to an internal affairs investigation obtained yesterday by New Times.

In the years that followed, despite such warning, nothing changed -- and the problem, in fact, seemed to get only worse.

During the course of New Times' investigation, nine people who either experienced or witnessed bouncer violence alleged responding police either didn't reprimand the bar or filed a report that misrepresented events.

According to the internal affairs report, a man named Michael Kravitz went to the folkloric Elbo Room on June 8, 2010, where he "was beaten up by the bouncers and thrown out of the bar." Kravitz called 911, but when he told the responding officer what had happened, the cop "refused" to write a report depicting the beatdown. Kravitz, the record claims, had left police "with the impression he did not want a full police report."

But actually, Kravitz wanted one so badly he called the Fort Lauderdale Police Department the next day to complain that he was beaten at the bar -- and that the cops didn't do anything. Kravitz alleged the responding officer was longtime detail cop Mark DeCarlo, but investigators say it was actually Officer Jay Smith.

Either way, Kravitz, who didn't immediately return requests for comment, was still so upset that he was mulling whether to file charges against the bouncers. (It's unclear if that happened.)

"On a side note," investigating officer Sgt. Bill Schultz wrote in the report, "we need to keep an eye on complaints regarding the bouncers at Elbo [Room] and Dirty Blondes. It seems the bouncers may be getting a little heavy handed in recent times. I've informed my officers of the same."

The message perhaps didn't seep in deeply enough. Since March 2009, bouncers at Dirty Blondes, Exit 66, and Rock Bar have beaten at least 21 patrons in 16 incidents, according to a New Times report.

Excluding the now-infamous July incident, when video of Dirty Blondes' bouncers savagely beating two men went viral, only one bouncer has faced charges, court records show.

Throughout that time, despite what appears to be full knowledge that bouncers at beach establishments have a troubling propensity for violence, cops have continued to work off-duty detail at these venues. The department pulled Dirty Blondes' off-duty officers only after the July altercation.

Off-duty work is something of a cash cow for cops. Some officers who've clocked time at these bars make as much as $600 per week, one former Exit 66 manager told New Times.

New Times contacted Fort Lauderdale police yesterday at noon to ask whether police changed anything following this internal investigator's report, but we haven't heard back yet. We will update this story when we do.

Send your story tips to the author, Terrence McCoy.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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2 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................otherwise I would like to see the ORIGINAL report of the police investigation that INITIALLY resulted in the arrest of those two patrons leaving the BOUNCERs off-the-hook UNTIL of course the VIDEO showed the BOUNCERs to ALSO BE committing felony battery and misdemeanor battery on those same patrons...........................giving those out-of-their-mind BOUNCERs plenty of time to destroy physical CRIMINAL evidence including cleaning themselves of any potential drug or steroid or narcotic or other hallucinatory effect while sucker-punching and choke-holding and head stomping while on the ground those patrons a few hours and even a full week later

my personal observation of the video leads me to see such savage and violent and aggressively dirty fighting that I would want to know if drugs were a factor in that inhuman and animalistic attack display - no typically clean and sober person even contemplates such action

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................... dirty cops, savage bouncers, drunk visitors, dive bars...................so what ?

my question, and I have had conversations with the MAYOR on this very topic,  is WHY does it have to occupy a large portion of PRIME publicly accessible desirable beach location originally MEANT to be quietly enjoyed by any and ALL FAMILY people and a civilized society who are concerned with peace and nature and beauty - instead of devolving into BOWERY BEACH

isn't it bad enough we have polluted the water to the extent FECAL MATTER WARNINGs occasionally closed the beach to the public ?  do we also have to put up with the excrement on land as well ? BOUNCERs taking patrons in a choke-hold from behind, or BOUNCERs using women as shields sucker-punching patrons, or BOUNCERs stomping on patrons who are ON THE GROUND...............DIRTY BLONDEs at a minimum should be DIRTY FIGHTING ?

we close public access to the ocean water why not close public access to the excrement on land ?

I simply propose having DIRTY BLONDEs and like establishments go down some dark alley in an industrial zoned city area, away from civilization, and let those alcoholed-fueled steroid-filled neaderthals have at each other,  corrupting public officials, including those dirty cops, and let these bar operators prevail and profit with these smack-down events located somewhere else, patrons could then ready themselves for dirty fighting BOUNCERs, and they can all bash each other night and day, with the highest bidder paying off the police to either prosecute crimes or protect bar operators and BOUNCERs - JUST get them off the very exposed and publicly accesses main BEACH and away from populations on the beach entitled to quiet enjoyment

are we going to have to wait until some visiting little kid gets hurt or worse,  from an incident spilling out onto the nearby busy sidewalk from such savage fighting ? do we have to wait until some clown bring in a gun and starts shooting ?  what would we say to a visiting guest whos kid has been seriously hurt or worse ?

the FT L P D and B S O could both be BOUGHT because they are both FOR SALE - Rothstein proved that and one observing the employee lot of either law enforcement agency could readily accertain something is amiss but that's a matter for another day

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