Dalila Ali Rajah
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Gay Former Marine Disarms Man Who Brought Grenade Into Florida Bar

Gay bar in Florida

A regular patron at a Florida gay bar used his wits and military experience to take down a man with a grenade this week, and it was all captured on video.

Police in Wilton Manors were called to The Corner Pub on Tuesday evening after an unidentified man entered the popular gay bar, called over the bartender, placed a grenade on the counter, and warned he had guns in the car.

Bartender Joseph Shakespeare told local ABC affiliate WPLG, “It kinda freaked me out a little bit,” but he said his first thoughts were about the safety of his other customers.

“I was just thinking, stay calm, because we have a lot of people in there, and this is our community, so I want to keep everybody safe,” Shakespeare said.

That’s when former active-duty marine Darrell Darling stepped in. He told WPLG he overheard what the man was saying and immediately realized the severity of the situation.

“He was agitated at someone in the bar. He was looking to pick a fight,” Darling said, adding, “He had shown me a grenade immediately as I walked up. It looked real.”

Rather than try to physically disarm the man, Darling said he struck up a conversation to distract him instead. The diversion worked as Shakespeare was able to call the police and help the other customers leave the bar. When the bar was empty, Darling convinced the man to leave the bar with him so they could hang out.

Video captured the moment Darling put his military training to use moments after they exited the bar, dropping the man to the ground, and holding him there until police surrounded them seconds later.

Wilton Manors Police later issued a statement, saying the grenade was inert and the man “was intoxicated and in need of mental health services” and noting “he was distraught by the recent deaths of close friends.” The man was taken to a facility for treatment while the investigation continues.

Tags: News, Crime, Florida

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