Man Accused of Critically Injuring Girlfriend During Brawl at Clearwater Club
He told deputies he mistakenly thought he was fighting with a man who was involved in the melee, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
PINELLAS COUNTY – A Seffner man was arrested Monday (Jan. 1) after his girlfriend was critically injured during a brawl at a gentlemen’s club in the unincorporated Clearwater area, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Kara Thobe, 35, of Clearwater, was unresponsive when paramedics from Largo Fire Rescue arrived. She was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with life-threatening injuries. Her condition was listed as critical.
Sonny Mendoza, 32, of Seffner, was charged with one count of aggravated battery.
Deputies said they were called to the OZ Gentleman’s Club,, 13577 U.S. 19 N in the unincorporated Clearwater area about 1:15 a.m. for a report of a disturbance outside the business. When deputies arrived, they found Thobe unconscious, suffering from head injuries.
Mendoza and Thobe, his girlfriend, were outside the club ordering from the food stand when two unidentified Hispanic or light-skinned black women left the club. Deputies said witnesses told them that Mendoza and Thobe exchanged words with the two, who went back into the club and returned with two unidentified black men. A verbal exchange continued between Mendoza, Thobe and the unidentified men and women. During the argument, a physical altercation occurred and a fight broke out.
Deputies said surveillance video showed Mendoza fighting with the men. During the melee, Mendoza threw Thobe to the ground where she struck her head. Mendoza was then seen repeatedly slamming Thobe’s head into the cement until patrons at the club rushed in and restrained him.
The unidentified men and women fled before deputies arrived.
Deputies interviewed Mendoza who told them he mistakenly slammed Thobe into the ground multiple times thinking he was fighting with one of the unidentified men.
Deputies are requesting anyone who may have witnessed this incident or anyone with information on the case to contact Detective James Upton of the Robbery/Homicide Unit at (727) 582-6321.
Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Battery | OZ Gentleman’s Club | Arrests | Tampabay News
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