Investigation into Memorial Day brawl at Jacksonville Beach suspended again

It appears there will be no arrests in the foreseeable future connected to the Memorial Day brawl that shut down part of Jacksonville Beach during holiday festivities and left one man seriously injured. Jacksonville Beach police last week suspended their investigation in the case for the second time, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Charges or not, the incident has heightened awareness and led to a push from residents for more of police presence at the beach – especially during special events and holidays, the newspaper reported.

Cell phone videos of the brawl went viral and were broadcast heavily on local television and local news websites, clearly showing a man being beaten. With the public nature of the incident, many are asking how there could possibly not be any Jacksonville Beach Battery charges. Our criminal court system operates far differently than the court of public opinion, even in this Jacksonville Battery Case. Police have said they suspected this brawl was between two rival gangs from Jacksonville and that none of the witnesses said to have been nearby have been willing to provide any information to police. A grainy cell phone video is not enough to positively identify the attacker in this case in front of a jury – and that appears to be about the extent of the state’s case thus far.

While this was made more public by the video and the public reaction that ensued, it’s no different than a fight that might happen outside a bar or a sporting event. Things happen quickly, words escalate into a physical fight and people scatter. Unless someone is arrested in Duval County and detained right there at the time of the fight, there may not be any arrests in the case. In this Jacksonville Battery Case, prosecutors would need someone to sit on the witness stand and testify to the fact that the defendant, whoever it may be, was the one that threw the punches and kicked the man in the video. Prosecutors don’t have that in this case. They don’t have police saying they were called to the scene and found a defendant there or saw him running away or anything close. The investigation will remain suspended until a witness comes forward that will provide police with enough information so authorities can make an arrest in this Jacksonville Fighting Case, the newspaper reported.

The potential defendants know who they are and this would be an ideal time to consult with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney. An Jacksonville defense attorney can discuss what is likely to happen next and, if charges are filed, can lay out potential scenarios and options for a defense strategy.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Battery Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.