Florida man arrested after drawing gun, using racial slurs during MLK Day event

NBC 6 News Miami

A Florida man was arrested on Monday after a video showed him pulling out a gun and yelling racial slurs at a group of African-Americans participating in an anti-gun violence event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Mark Bartlett, 51, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit shortly after the confrontation, NBC Miami News reported.

The video, shared by local nonprofit group Dream Defenders, appears to show a woman fighting with a group of riders participating in the “Wheels Up, Guns Down” event.

{mosads}The annual event involves riders on ATVs, dirt bikes and bicycles taking to the streets South Florida to honor King’s birthday and raise awareness about gun violence. The event often causes tension because the vehicles block traffic, the outlet noted.

The video shows a woman on the Brickell Avenue bridge yelling about how one of the bicyclists ran over her foot.

A man, later identified as Bartlett, approached the group of bicyclists holding what appears to be a handgun and demands to know who allegedly ran over the woman’s foot.

Bartlett tells the bicyclists to “get the [expletive] out of here” and uses a racial slur at least three times, according to reports.

The bicyclists fled, and Bartlett was later stopped by officers who found the loaded gun in his car.

He told police that he didn’t know he needed a conceal carry permit to have the gun, according to a police report obtained by NBC Miami.

“Why am I being arrested, when those kids are free to ride around,” Bartlett told the officers, according to the report. “I did pull out my gun but I never pointed it at them.”

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a Tuesday statement that she has assigned the chief of her hate crimes unit to investigate the altercation.

“I am outraged at the reported acts depicted in the videos taken during this incident,” Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “I am committed to filing the appropriate charges and to vigorously prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”

Law enforcement officials in Florida’s Broward and Miami-Dade countries arrested dozens of riders over the weekend who were swerving in traffic and driving erratically, NBC Miami reported.

Tags Florida Florida gun violence prevention Martin Luther King Day Miami Miami MLK Day Racial slurs

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