Following a charged confrontation, a Florida man faces aggravated battery charges after setting a bouncer on fire outside of a bar.
According to St. Lucie Police Sgt. Frank Sabol, 45-year-old Ivan Louis Rodriguez was kicked out of area bar Neely’s Grog House early Sunday evening for not paying his tab.
Police reported that the bartender, the wife of the bouncer, said Rodriguez attempted to pay his tab with a personal check. Because of his history of bounced checks, Rodriguez was asked to pay the tab with either a debit card or cash, but he instead tried to earn money to cover his tab by challenging other bar patrons at games of pool.
According to reports, Rodriguez was soon kicked out of the bar by the bouncer after he learning the suspect was trying to make money at the pool tables.
Sabol said that shortly after being ejected from the bar, Rodriguez returned with a cup full of gasoline and threw it on the bouncer before attempting to reenter the bar. Rodriguez was chased and tackled by the bouncer and another patron in the parking lot.
During the scuffle, Rodriguez then ignited a lighter, immediately catching the bouncer’s clothes on fire.
Following the incident, surveillance footage shows Rodriguez retreating to a nearby pickup truck and fleeing the area as the bar patron attempts to stop him.
The bouncer sustained severe burns throughout his body to include arms, face and chest and was airlifted to a burn unit in Miami, Sabol said.