MIAMI (WSVN) - A man who was videotaped pointing a gun, cursing and yelling racial slurs at a group of Black teenagers on the Brickell Bridge has testified in his own defense during a Stand Your Ground hearing in Miami.
The hearing, which resumed at 1 p.m. Thursday, continues into its fourth hour as Mark Bartlett claims he was acting in self-defense during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day incident in 2019.
“Now that the 30 people are surrounding her at that corner, you see Dana [Scalione] start walking to the right,” Bartlett testified. “As soon as she does that, I hear a scream, and I hear her screaming. I heard Dana screaming.”
Witnesses called 911 after Scalione, Bartlett’s then-fiance, confronted the teenagers, who stopped traffic on the bridge. Shortly after, Bartlett could be seen on cellphone video running toward the group with a gun.
“I need somebody to help us right now,” a caller said. “We’re on the bridge of Brickell. There’s somebody with a gun. Oh, my God! There’s a guy with a gun! There’s a guy with a gun! Somebody help! Somebody help! Somebody help us!”
Bartlett was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, which was later upgraded to a hate crime.
His attorney argued in court on Monday that he was defending himself and standing his ground.
Bartlett testified his intentions on that day were to protect his then-fiance. He said he grabbed his gun, ran toward her and confronted the teenagers.
“I reach back into my car, grabbed the gun out of the glove compartment, and I ran,” Bartlett said. “I kept the car running. I kept the door open, and I ran as fast as I possibly can to the direction that the mob were chasing Dana.”
When asked why he did that, Bartlett replied, “She was being attacked, without a doubt in my mind.”
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