Florida

Third man arrested in connection with strip club attack police say was a hate crime

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Key West police have arrested a third man in connection with an Aug. 1 attack at a strip club they say was a hate crime.

Christian Austin Edward Artau, 24, of Boca Raton, was arrested Saturday on charges of felony battery and a public order crime under the state’s hate crime law.

Artau wasn’t described by police as a biker gang member.

But the other suspects, Morgan Shane Cooper. 44, and Mark Anthony Magellan, 44, both of Texas, were reportedly members of the Homietos Nomad gang, which police said is part of the major biker clubs the FBI has deemed criminal organizations.

The alleged victim in the Aug. 1. beating inside a bathroom at Teasers was black and said he was at the urinal when a man called him a racial slur and then attacked him from behind.

The three suspects are white, according to jail records.

Artrau denied being involved in the fight and said he was in the bathroom trying to stop it.

Police arrested him after viewing security video from Teasers, where they said members of the outlaw biker gang, The Pagans, were milling about.

Artau was seen quickly leaving the bathroom after bikers were searching for him, police said.

Police said the bikers all shook hands and bumped fists before leaving the strip club.

“They all seemed to be happy, smiling and congratulating each other about the battery that was just committed,” police wrote in the arrest report.

Police searched Artau’s red Camaro and found a loaded handgun in the trunk. They placed it into evidence.

Artau was jailed at the Stock Island Detention Center and released later that day on $50,000 bond.

Cooper and Magallen were released from jail Aug. 2 after posting $50,000 bonds.

The three were staying at the same hotel, police said.

Cooper told police he got into an altercation with a black man inside the bathroom because the man took a swing at Magallan.

Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.
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