Assault charges dropped for former Miss Miami Lakes

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A judge has ruled in favor of a local beauty queen’s “stand your ground” case after she was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Vanessa Barcelo, also known as 2016’s Miss Miami Lakes, said she feels “total relief” by the ruling. “I cried. I cried the minute the judge said it because this has been the longest seven months of my life,” she said.

She was throwing a party at her Hialeah town house back in December to promote her cake business. According to Barcelo, her cousin had drank to much and passed out. That’s when, she said, another partygoer, David Duperon, approached her cousin.

She was throwing a party at her Hialeah town house back in December to promote her cake business. According to Barcelo, her cousin had drank to much and passed out. That’s when, she said, another partygoer, David Duperon, approached her cousin.

“And I see him waking her up and taking her into the bathroom,” said the beauty queen.

Barcelo said she told the guest not worry because she would care for her cousin. “He had the shower door open, the water running, and he was already taking off her shirt, and I’m like, ‘What are you doing?'” she said.

She said the man wouldn’t leave her home and that she should have called the police, but instead, she grabbed a bat.

“I was like, ‘Get out of my house,’ as I held the bat in my hands, not once did I swing that bat,” she said. “I was holding it as if it’s a sword. ‘Get out of my house,’ you know.”

Barcelo said Duperon grabbed the bat from her hands and started swinging. A fight ensued, and cops were called.

She said she slapped the man but never hit him with the bat.

“The original charge was aggravated battery because the officer who responded believed the injury was caused by Vanessa swinging the baseball bat at him,” said her attorney, Jimmy Demiles. “In this hearing, and just the process of going through this case over the past seven months, we have disproved all the allegations.”

A judge, Wednesday, stated she acted in self-defense and dismissed the charges. The criminal case against Duperon was also dropped.

“Honestly, I’m just so happy that I can finally say the truth,” said Barcelo.

Barcelo and her attorneys are contemplating whether they should file a civil suit but until then she said she wants to rebuild her reputation.

“I was just trying to diffuse a really bad situation,” she said. “I was just trying to defend myself, and I was scared.”

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