JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The man at the center of a viral video of a brawl outside a popular Jacksonville Beach bar is opening up about his arrest in the hopes of clearing his name, saying the video doesn't tell the whole story.
In an interview Wednesday with News4Jax, Jamel Bailey said the video is misleading because it only shows a glimpse of what happened once police arrived to break up the fight.
Bailey, 29, was shown on video getting tackled by police after he threw a punch in the early Sunday morning fight. But, he said, it doesn't show someone attack him as he intervened in the fight.
He said he and some relatives had been at Sydney Bar for about 10 minutes when a fight broke out between people he didn't know. At that point, he said, they left. Then there was another scuffle.
"I tried to break up the fight. Upon that, I was hit, snuffed by a dude I didn't know. I fell to the ground and got up to defend myself," said Bailey.
The video shows Bailey taking a swing at someone before officers take him down and detain him. According to the arrest report, Bailey smelled of alcohol and acknowledged having two drinks.
The report concluded Bailey did not intentionally strike an officer. But Bailey, who's charged with public intoxication and resisting officers without violence, denied having anything to drink.
"I told them I donated a kidney literally two months ago, so I'm not able to drink or get into any physical altercation," he said. "I donated my kidney to my brother on April 10."
Bailey, a former Air Force serviceman, said he feels the public now views him as a thug since the video made its rounds on social media.
"Every time it loops, it says Jamel Bailey and I'm looking like an aggressive man," he said. "I've been in the military, my pa's been in the military for 30 years, my mom served, my brother served."
"Now who sees this? Who knows? It got over 100,000 views," he added.
As a result of the brawl, managers at Sydney said Wednesday they planned to keep the balcony closed for Independence Day to maintain crowd control.