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Video: Marine vet helps take down grenade-wielding man in FL bar

"Emotionally disturbed" man pulls out a grenade in a Florida bar. (Screenshot)
August 18, 2022

A Marine veteran helped subdue an “emotionally disturbed” man who pulled out a grenade inside a Florida bar on Tuesday.

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According to NBC Miami, a customer inside The Corner Bar in Wilton Manors, Fla., said “don’t be scared” to bartender Joseph Shakespeare as he pulled out a grenade and placed it on the bar just after 9 p.m., video of the moment shows.

“He was agitated. I served him a cocktail and then he goes ‘don’t be scared’ and he put a grenade up on the bar,” Shakespeare said. “‘You don’t want to mess up your pretty face.’ I told him that. I said ‘we are too pretty in here.’ He started laughing and it went right back to anger. So that’s when I said I can’t diffuse this situation.”

“What ran through my mind initially was ‘oh my God, if that pin goes off we are dead,'” Shakespeare added. 

In an effort to help Shakespeare, Marine veteran Darryl Darling calmly distracted the man while the bartender called his boss, who then called the police. Shakespeare also began quietly evacuating the bar as quickly as possible without causing a scene. 

“I bought him a drink,” Darling told the Miami Herald. “It was all part of the plan.”

Darling eventually convinced the man to leave the bar. Once outside, Darling subdued the man until local police arrived. 

“He was oblivious,” Darling said.

Police searched the man and discovered a hollowed-out dummy grenade. 

“It looked very real,” Darling said.

Police later described the man as “emotionally disturbed” and he was taken to a mental health facility. His identity has not been released. 

Under the National Firearms Act, grenades are classified as “destructive devices.”

“Destructive device.–The term “destructive device” means * * * (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary or his delegate finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; . . .,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website states.

While rare, it’s not the first time an inert grenade has been found in civilian communities this year.

Earlier this year, ​​a pair of rocket launchers and a practice grenade were discovered in a California residence’s trash can near a school.