Miami Man Accused Of Threatening Group Of Black Protesters On MLK Day Has 'Stand Your Ground' Hearing Denied
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The case against a Miami resident accused of attacking teenagers participating in the Bikes Up, Guns Down protest in 2019 will move forward.
"We are very pleased with the court's ruling we look forward to moving forward with the trial," said Prosecutor Jonathan Borst.
The case against Mark Bartlett will move forward. A judge denied his "stand your ground" claim stemming from an incident that took place on Martin Luther King Day back in 2019, which was all caught on camera.
On the video, you can hear Bartlett yelling racial slurs at the teens, and even brandished a weapon.
But in Thursday's hearing to determine if the trial would move forward, Bartlett testified it was his life that was in danger.
"I pulled the gun out because they surrounded my fiancé I didn't pull the gun out because I was stuck in traffic," said Bartlett while on the stand.
The teenagers who were part of the group Bikes Up, Guns Down were protesting at the time, blocking traffic on the Brickell Avenue Bridge and preventing Bartlett and others in their cars from moving.
Bartlett's fiancee, Dana Scalione got out of their SUV to confront the kids. She also took the stand to testify about their fear.
"I'm being bombarded, they are ganging up on me they're coming from all around me. Then I just get pushed I turn around and I see Mark running so I was really thankful that he was there," said Scalione.
"Well in any protest, if the defendant felt they were afraid for their safety or I felt that they were some crime being committed, they should've called the police. Whether it was on the Palmetto a couple weeks ago or earlier this year down in Biscayne you don't get out of your vehicle and take a gun to a group of juveniles on bicycles," said prosecutor Citra Joseph.
And the judge agreed saying there was enough evidence in this case to move forward and stand your ground did not apply.
"Basically, what the judge ruled was that we're not going to allow people to incite violence, to victimize and villainize people and then to cry that they are the victims," said Marwan Porter, the attorney for the children who were attacked.
Trial date in this case has been set for December 6.
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