Miami Beach revokes club’s business license after horse brought onto dance floor

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach city officials have revoked the business license for a nightclub after a woman brought a horse onto a crowded dance floor, Wednesday.

Video posted on social media by Miami Beach Police Friday morning shows a scantily clad woman riding a white horse inside the Mokai Lounge, located at 235 23rd St. People were standing around before the horse became startled.

The horse bucked, causing the woman to fall off.

This was supposed to be the night’s entertainment, but speaking with reporters on Friday, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber had a less flattering take on the spectacle.

“Insane stupidity,” he said.

(Caution: the video may not be suitable for young audiences)

❌❌THIS IS NOT OKAY AND IF IT DOES NOT UPSET OR DISTURB YOU, THEN YOU NEED TO RE-EVALUATE YOURSELF AND YOUR MORALS/VALUES. IT IS INHUMANE AND THE DEFINITION OF ANIMAL CRUELTY*** SHAME ON @mokaiofficial for using a poor helpless animal to entertain people. I will not stop posting and spamming everyone’s feed until I see that this club has been penalized for their crime. ❌❌HOW DARE YOU torture that horse for your own selfish pleasure. Have you no compassion in your hearts??? You deserve to be SHUT DOWN for abusing this poor horse. ❌❌For everyone who is asking about where the original source came from: I saw MANY people post on their Snapchat and Instagram stories and asked a friend to send me THIS SPECIFIC video he took to me so that I could bring awareness to the issue. This person would like to remain anonymous, but has given me consent to use it as I please.

A post shared by LJ (@leezamariejay) on

Hours after the video surfaced, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales revoked the club’s license.

“I was disgusted and offended that any legitimate businessperson would think this was an appropriate action to take,” said Morales. “This activity was not permitted, and as soon as we became aware, I immediately instructed staff to act swiftly in remedying this situation.”

“Today at 3:15 [p.m.], we advised the owners of the Mokai Lounge that they were being closed down,” said Gelber.

The mayor said he was disgusted by what he saw.

“It was dangerous to this animal. It’s dangerous to the public,” said Gelber. “It wasn’t silly or sophomoric; it was outrageous.”

Police are now investigating the incident.

“There’s an animal cruelty investigation that we’re conducting jointly with Miami Dade PD, and we’ve interviewed some of the witnesses who were inside,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates. “We have some more work to do on that.”

Friday evening, Miami Beach Police confirmed the horse was located at an undisclosed location in Miami-Dade County.

They released a statement that reads in part, “Miami Beach PD detectives along with Miami Dade PD’s animal experts have located the horse that was at Mokai. The horse has been inspected and deemed to be healthy and safe by Miami Dade PD.”

The city determined that this activity is “an actual threat to the public health, welfare and safety.”

“Whoever brought the horse in there was a complete idiot,” said Laurie Waggoner, a spokesperson for the South Florida chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“First of all, it’s inhumane to the animal, and there’s animal cruelty laws and simple notions of decency,” said Gelber. “Bringing an animal like that into the club, where there are people, I think it fell down in the video. It could have hurt itself — it may have hurt itself. Equally important, it could have hurt people.”

Waggoner said the people on the Mokai Lounge dance floor were lucky. “That horse is a saint,” she said.

Waggoner called the animal “bomb-proof,” because in the middle of the chaos, it remained calm, without hurting anyone in a panic.

“It’s a shame such a nice horse has an owner that cares so little for it,” she said.

The owner of the horse and woman on the horse’s back have yet to be identified.

However, a photograph that surfaced on social media shows the horse being ridden by a woman at a different location. A poster claims the appearance took place at Kiki on the River, a Greek restaurant in Miami with the same owner as Mokai Lounge.

Police are asking for the public’s help. “We need video, we need witness testimony,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez. “We just need to make sure that we hold those responsible for this act accountable.”

People on social media are making their feelings known. One user posted the video with the caption, “This is animal abuse.”

As for Wednesday’s horse play, officials said Mokai has seen its last rodeo. “This club is closed down, and it’s not opening. There’s not going to be any animals in here,” said Gelber. “There’s not going to be any people in there. It’s shut, and it’s out of business.”

If you have any information on this incident, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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