WILTON MANORS, Fla. – A man was tackled outside a bar Tuesday in Wilton Manors after witnesses say he carried a grenade into the business.
The incident happened at The Corner Pub, which is located at 1915 N. Andrews Ave.
“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.
“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.
Shakespeare said the incident happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
He said the man claimed to have guns in his car, as well.
“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,” witness Darrell Darling said.
Darling said he overheard the conversation and stepped in to help.
The former Marine knew the owner called police, so he was doing everything he could to keep the grenade-wielding man preoccupied.
“He was agitated at somebody in the bar, looking to pick a fight,” Darling said. “He had shown me a grenade immediately as I walked up. It looked real.”
Darling says the two bonded over military and police service, and as the conversation went on, people slid out of the bar.
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.
Wilton Manors police described the man in a news release as an “emotionally disturbed male.”
They confirmed that he was in possession of an inert grenade and said he has been taken to a facility to receive the necessary mental health services he requires.