Yes, Florida is a land of opportunity, bigotry, tourism, sun, sand, mickey, racism, happiness, families, partying, democracy, and well, it’s America and ‘Merika in one big phallic peninsula. An on occasion, the blender of life spits out in one poor pile the mix of gays, guns, and the unstable.
Just on June 30th of this year, we posted Guns, Bars, And Short Tempers Do Not Mix / Man Wields Gun at Popular Wilton Manors Bar where an argument over a phone escalated to a man brandishing a gun outside of GYM Bar in Wilton Manors. He was arrested after law enforcement was called.
This time, the weapon wasn’t a gun, but a grenade.
The Corner Pub, located at 1915 N. Andrews Ave., in Wilton Manors was very active this past Tuesday as an aggravated patron decided to bring in something else than his thirst.
“He showed me a grenade. He said, ‘Don’t be scared.’ It kinda freaked me out a little bit,” bartender Joseph Shakespeare said.
Witnesses said the man pulled out what appeared to be a grenade in the middle of the bar. Patrons could not have known the grenade was inert, but the armed man and also told the crowd that he had guns in his car.
Darryl Darling, a former Marine, was present at the bar took to chatting with the mam to keep him distracted and calm while Shakespeare helped people leave the bar. What could keep a grenade-wielding man at bay? Darling said he and the man talked about their experiences serving in the military and police.
“As people started to clear the bar, I used certain intentions to just keep his focus on me so we would be the last ones leaving the bar,” the veteran told local10news.
The former Marine convinced the man to leave with him to go hang out.
As they made it outside, Darling took the man to the ground.
“He could be a threat — I don’t know how he’s feeling, so I grabbed one hand, swept his full leg out and just put my full weight on the back of his body so he could not get up,” Darling said.
Police then moved in to take the man into custody. The man’s identity has not been released.
Here is the local coverage of the incident.
In a post on Facebook, WMPD shared that the man was “intoxicated and in need of mental health services,” and that he was upset over the recent deaths of close friends. Police determined that the grenade was inert and that he did not have any firearms with him. The bar was searched, deemed safe, and patrons were allowed to return.
On Facebook, the owners of Corner Pub thanked Darling and Shakespeare for their help.
“Remember guys see something say something this is our community and let’s keep it safe,” they wrote. “Let’s not let this stop us!”