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Backstreet Boy Carter being sued for Keys bar brawl, complaint says he 'violently' attacked bartender

Nick Carter speaks to Judge Ruth Becker via videoconference from jail at his Jan. 14 first appearance.
Nick Carter speaks to Judge Ruth Becker via videoconference from jail at his Jan. 14 first appearance.

There's more trouble for Backstreet Boy and former Marathon resident Nick Carter.

Carter, arrested on Jan. 13 at the Hogs Breath Saloon on Front Street in Key West following a brawl with bar staff, was sued Monday by bartender Skylar Carden in Monroe County Circuit Court for "bodily injury, mental anguish, pain and suffering." He seeks damages of more than $15,000, standard when such lawsuits are filed.

The suit alleges Carter's conduct "was willful, wanton and calculated to cause harm." No court date was set as of Tuesday. Carden's lawyer is Mark DiCowden of Key West.

Carter, out on $1,500 bond, is due in court on his criminal battery charge on Feb. 8. His lawyer in that case, which is before Judge Wayne Miller, is Margaret Gutierrez of Key West.

On Jan. 13, Carter, 35, and his friend Michael Papayans, 27, were arrested at the Hogs Breath about 7 p.m. after being told to leave because they were too drunk. Video from the bar captured the incident.

In his report, city police officer Daniel Blanco wrote that Hogs Breath General Manager Art Levin saw Carter and Papayans walk into the bar "heavily intoxicated" and that bartender Mark Hanna refused to serve them. They "became agitated and aggressive" and were told to leave "multiple times." They had to be escorted out by security.

The civil suit says Carter was "unruly and disrespectful" and that Carden "politely" told him to leave. Outside the bar, the singer allegedly grabbed Carden by the neck and punched him. The lawsuit says he "violently" attacked Carden, who was "seriously and severely injured."

He wants "compensatory damages, courts costs and such further relief as this court deems just and reasonable."

During the melee, Papayans reportedly head-butted Manager Matthew Stecher. Papayans also was charged with battery. Like Carter, he's free on $1,500 bond.

At their first appearances the day after their arrests, Acting Circuit Court Judge Becker told them to stay off the Hogs Breath premises and not drink alcohol.

Carter has a drunk-driving conviction in California.

Carter and his family, including younger brother and fellow singer Aaron, used to live in an oceanside compound across from Florida Keys Marathon International Airport. While living there in the early 2000s, the family had brushes with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

One of his sisters was arrested for battery and drunk driving, and his father was arrested for battery.

On May, 29, 2001, Nick Carter ran his 45-foot Sea Ray aground in Knight Key Channel near the Seven Mile Bridge. Federal authorities said 3,762 square feet of seagrass was damaged. The following year, Carter paid a fine of $30,573 to finance restoration of the grass bed.

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