When the owner of Dirty Blondes finally issued a statement following his bouncers' savage beatdown of a patron last Sunday -- which was caught on video and has ignited a firestorm of criticism -- his words were terse.
"It looks like it was a bunch of troublemakers who came to the bar drunk causing trouble," bar owner A.J. Yaari told the Sun Sentinel last night. "Now, they are just trying to make us look bad."
Maybe it's because of all the pictures to the contrary. Or maybe it's because Alex Coelho claims to have trained to be a firefighter. Or maybe it's just because here at New Times, we routinely write about scum and our perspective is out of whack -- but one thing Coehlo most definitely does not look like is a "troublemaker." (Of course the accused Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, also didn't exhibit any signs of malice, so appearances can be misleading.)
Coelho, 29, declined to comment for this story, so we don't know for sure. As did Coelho's recently retained lawyer, Christopher Mijares. "With criminal charges floating around, really, I can't say anything," says Mijares, declining to specify whether Coelho was still in the hospital or if he had plans to sue either the Dirty Blondes' bouncers or Dirty Blondes itself.
But "the videos and photographs currently circulating clearly speak to the brutal nature of what transpired," Mijares said.
Indeed, here's what this "troublemaker" looked like when he arrived at the hospital:
But if his social media presence is any guide, this, perhaps, isn't how Alex Coelho lived his life. Until this bar fight, he's never netted any criminal charges in South Florida, according to a survey of court documents in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties. (After Sunday's altercation, he was charged with one felony count of battery on an officer and another of disorderly conduct.)
Rather, Coelho seemed to be a man stringing together numerous restaurant jobs across Broward County and enjoying sun-splattered afternoons with his girlfriend.
According to his online résumé, after Coelho graduated from Charles Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, he claims to have attended Broward College, where he studied "fire science technology" and amassed a paramedic acumen. Afterward, in 2009, he reports on his résumé that he studied at the Coral Springs Fire Academy. (Reached for comment, the fire academy couldn't immediately confirm whether that's true, and it's unclear whether Coelho ever worked as a firefighter.)
Since, he says he's taken a series of restaurant jobs, from Longhorn Steakhouse to Bonefish Grill, where he claims to hold the title of team leader.
Coelho's Instagram and Facebook profiles are equally benign. There, he's posted dozens of photographs of him and his girlfriend, Stephanie Parker, who's done the same on her account, missparker123, showing a couple very much in love.
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