In late May a Florida Gulf Coast University student, who went out to enjoy an evening at a local bar, ended up with facial fractures after being beaten by a bouncer. The Student Government president, a friend of the injured man, alerted the FGCU community to the incident by posting a letter to his personal Facebook page.
Surveillance camera footage obtained by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department from Stoney’s Sports Café showed the following, according to the police report: The student was escorted out the door of the bar by a bouncer. The student and the bouncer were pushing each other. When the student attempted to reenter the bar, a second bouncer hit him in the face several times with closed fists. The student fell to the ground while the second bouncer continued to punch him in the face.
The student provided medical records to police documenting a possible nasal fracture and a facial fracture from the incident. The injured student, whom Eagle News has chosen not to identify by name, did not respond to interview requests made by Eagle News staff.
On June 4, sheriff’s officers arrested the second bouncer, Rodney Anthony Brown, 37, of Lehigh Acres. He faces charges for battery that caused bodily harm, a misdemeanor. He was released on bond the same day. Brown has a lengthy arrest record, according to the sheriff’s website, including three previous arrests in which he faced felony charges, including one for alleged aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
Student Government President Juan Cubillo, in the letter he wrote on student government letterhead, described the character of the injured student and called for students to “stick together and protect each other just like we protect the nest.”
Cubillo said, for the account of the confrontation he provided in his letter, that he obtained all of his information from the injured student. “My job was to raise awareness,” he said. “I didn’t want the letter to come off as a police report . . . the details are up to the police.”
Cubillo deleted the letter from his personal page two days later. He said he did so because he felt he had accomplished his purpose since the letter got around 140 hits during the time it was posted.
“I got my personal opinion across,” Cubillo said, “I didn’t want to drag it out.”
Although the University police department was not involved in the investigation of the May bar incident, Chief Steven Moore offered the following advice students can use to stay safe when they go out to nightclubs and bars:
1. Go out in a group with friends. Make sure everyone knows the plan for the evening, help each other if problems arise and make sure everyone gets home safely.
2. Pace yourself. Know how you react to alcohol, eat before you go and drink water during the evening.
3. Don’t mix alcohol and medications. Read the labels on any medications you take for warnings about mixing with alcohol.
4. Have a good time by doing everything in moderation. No one likes an angry drunk.
5. If you are not having fun or if the atmosphere seems wrong or hostile, just leave.
6. Businesses do have the right — with proper reason — to refuse service and ask people to leave. If this happens, get your group together and move on or go home.
7. Remember to designate a driver beforehand. Never drive drunk!