Caught on video: Key Largo fight sends one to the hospital, and three are arrested

Key Largo dock fight leaves man unconscious

A Key Largo dock fight on July 28 sent one man to the hospital with broken bones in his face. The fight, which involved six people, was caught on video.
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A Key Largo dock fight on July 28 sent one man to the hospital with broken bones in his face. The fight, which involved six people, was caught on video.

A Homestead man and two New Yorkers were arrested after a Sunday night fight that was caught on video. People are punched, slapped and shoved into the water during the fight, which took place on a Key Largo dock.

The clash began, police said, after a large boat smacked into a smaller boat that was already docked behind the Caribbean Club, 104080 Overseas Highway.

Waldo E. Pacheco, 39, of Homestead, was arrested on charges of aggravated battery and misdemeanor battery only after police watched a video taken by a witness who asked to remain anonymous.

On the video, Pacheco appears to beat a man unconscious, then strike him several times while he is on the ground. It also shows him hitting the unconscious man’s wife as she tries to protect her husband from more blows.

Waldo Pacheco Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Pacheco’s boat is the one that was hit, reports state.

The man who was driving the other boat was Alex Mercado, who ended up knocked out on the docks and taken to Mariners Hospital.

Pacheco can be seen on video punching Mercado at least five times with a closed fist as Mercado lies on the ground.

Deputies, though, initially let Pacheco leave the scene after hearing witnesses describe his actions as defending himself and his wife.

Three witnesses told them Mercado was the instigator and said he hit Pacheco and Pacheco’s wife. The video shows Mercado slapping both.

After watching the entire video, police went to find Pacheco and arrested him.

The video shows Mercado approaching Pacheco first and shoving him. Pacheco falls to the ground.

The two separate, but Mercado comes back and slaps at Pacheco and his wife, the video shows.

Police said 54 seconds into the video they were given, Pacheco knocks Mercado to the ground and punches him several times while Mercado appears to be unconscious. Pacheco also kicked Mercado while he was down, they said.

The last three blows Pacheco delivered were to Mercado’s head, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Mercado, 49, suffered broken facial bones.

Pacheco said he got caught up in the heat of the moment and did not realize Mercado was unconscious when he was continuing to hit him, police said. He was defending his wife, Pacheco said, and “the lion got loose.”

More arrests are pending, said Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Phillip Gallina, 43, and Toby Salome, 51, both of Brooklyn, New York, were arrested on battery charges. Both were accused of charging at Pacheco, who shoved them both into the water.

Philip Gallina Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Gallina, Salome and Mercado’s wife had all been aboard the boat Mercado was piloting when it struck Pacheco’s boat.

Toby Salome Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Gallina, Salome and Pacheco were taken to the jail on Plantation Key. They were all released the next day. Pacheco posted a $20,000 bond, Salome posted $5,000 and Gallina posted $7,500.

A video of the fight was posted on Instagram on the account jacked_in_dade and as of Tuesday had gotten more than 18,500 views and generated 324 comments.

On Facebook, the viewing tally was more than 65,000 and it had been shared more than 1,000 times.