Police: Man attacks bouncers with rusty machete

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – A 21-year-old man attacked two bouncers with a rusty machete Saturday morning at Panama Hattie's, the St. Augustine Beach Police Department said.

Austin Rife is charged with two counts of aggravated battery.

The arrest report said Rife was thrown out of the lounge on State Road A1A and came back angry just after 2 a.m. Managers said it was about closing time, and everyone was being asked to leave.


When confronted by the bouncers, Rife cut Michael Cooper in the abdomen (pictured) and Joshua Cole in the arm, police said.

Rife then fled and tried to go home, but his roommates would not let him in, because his clothing was bloody, police said.

Police tracked Rife down and arrested him about five hours later.

"They're just thankful that it wasn't worse," fellow bouncer Eric Goebel said. "It could have been a lot worse than it was, and they're just glad they got the guy."

Goebel has worked at the lounge a long time and said incidents like the one Saturday morning are rare. He said it was frightening.

"I was like, 'Oh, this must be some nutcase that came out of nowhere.' I've never seen something like this happen before," Goebel said. "Two good guys. They work for a living. All they do is work, and you never think that something like that would happen."