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Ex-Patron at Flagler Beach’s Johnny D’s Is Jailed After Fighting Over Being Turned Away

| April 24, 2012

John Quesinberry (FCSO)

“Don’t tell me what to do.”

It’s a saying especially favored by people who have a keen sense of their own confidence, but perhaps not as keen a sense of others’ rights: a private business does, in fact, have every right to tell a patron, or more particularly an ex-patron, what to do, particularly when it means: “Your patronage is no longer wanted.”

John Quesinberry, a self-employed 36-year-old resident of Mount Airy (or of Palmetto Avenue in Flagler Beach, depending on which official report one looks at), had apparently patronized Johnny D’s Bar & Grill in Flagler Beach before. The outcome was not to the restaurant owner’s pleasure. So when Quesinberry showed up at the restaurant on Saturday. Two people greeted him at the door: Stephen Zelen, the manager, and John Davis, the owner of the restaurant. They told him, according to a Flagler Beach Police Department report, that he was “not welcome” there.

That’s when Quesinberry said that no one was telling him what to do. Quesinberry, according to the report, “struck the manager in the mouth with a closed fist. After doing this he threw the owner to the ground and struck him on the right side of his face.” Davis is 65, which, for Quesinberry, triggers a different sort of charge, when such charges are pressed: battery on a person over 65.

Battery on an adult younger than 65 is a misdemeanor, under Florida law. On a person 65 or older, it’s a third-degree felony (if the defendant is convicted of that charge), with a potential sentence of three years in prison, a $10,000 fine, restitution to the victim and  up to 500 hours of community service work. The restitution and community service must be in addition to the fine or sentence, and cannot be in lieu of.

When elderly victims are involved, adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence may not be suspended, deferred, or withheld.

According to the police report, “the manager’s mouth was bleeding and the owner had scrapes on his elbow from being thrown to the ground and what appeared to be a bruise forming on his face.”

Quesinberry, according to the report, fled in a Black Dodge Caravan with another white man, but himself called and requested to speak to a police officer about 50 minutes after the incident. The Flagler Beach police officer went to Quesinberry’s Palmetto Avenue address, where Quesinberry told him that the manager began pushing him, and after the second push, Quesinberry pushed back. Quesinberry said the owner, too, attacked him, and that he (Quesinberry) was merely pushing him back. “This did not explain how the victims’ injuries occurred,” the police report states.

“A witness statement from a waitress of the establishment advises that [Quesinberry] struck [Zelen] upon being asked to leave and then struck the owner.” Both Zelen and Davis wanted to pursue charges. Quesinberry was then arrested. While being driven to the Flagler County jail for booking, he said of one of his victims: ‘Of course his mouth is bleeding. I popped him in it,” according to the police report. This, the report states, “contradicted his previous statement that he only pushed the manager.”

The report continues: “While pulling up to the inmate facility [Quesinberry] then stated, “Since I’m going to jail, I wish I really put it on them.”

Quesinberry posted $1,500 bond and was released after his Saturday arrest.

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18 Responses for “Ex-Patron at Flagler Beach’s Johnny D’s Is Jailed After Fighting Over Being Turned Away”

  1. Initialjoe says:

    SOOO……..I wish I knew the whole back story because I doubt that was just a random unprovoked attack. But I guess we will never know.

    • Major says:

      Maybe someone should ask the sober people at the bar what happened!

    • cbf says:

      I thought in Florida If someone showed up at my place and i asked them to leave and they did not i could shoot them! This guy sounds a bit full of himself.

  2. NortonSmitty says:

    I’m shocked, Shocked! I live around the corner from Johnny D’s and have never seen anything but good times and camaraderie there. It’s a shame that one drunk is the first thing many of your readers will learn of this new place.

    I know the owner Johnny is old enough to deserve hitting him to be not only a felony, but a mortal sin. I knew he was over 65, way over. In fact, I would bet that he may not be the proverbial “Older Than Dirt” but I would guarrantee he is older than agriculture. Hitting him for that reason alone is criminal, but the fact that he is only about 4’5″ tall is an offense that this guy should have his Manhood Club Card revoked forever!

    Seriously, JD’s is right around the corner from me, in the old Rossi’s Restaurant on A1A and Tenth St. North. He has turned it into a nice, comfortable joint where he greets you by name the second visit and everybody’s job is to make sure you have a pleasant visit.

    Don’t let this article make you think twice about stopping in, it’s not that kind of place.

  3. NortonSmitty says:

    I’m Shocked, Shocked! I live right down the street from Johnny D’s and have never seen anything but friendly happy customers and servers. It’s a shame that the first thing your readers will hear of this place is about one drunk who was barred for the reason he shows here.

    And it should be a major felony to hit someone as old as Johnny. I am surprised to hear he is only 65. I mean, I knew he wasn’t really older than dirt like everyone says, but I would have bet he was at least older than agriculture. And since he stands about 4 foot 6″, this asshole should have his Manhood Card revoked. When he gets out of jail.

    Seriously, this is a very nice place, Johnny has done a lot with it in a short time and you all should stop in and patronize the locals. It’s the kind of place the second time in Johnny will call you by your name.

    Don’t let this story keep you away, it’s really not that kind of joint.

  4. NortonSmitty says:

    Like it so much I said it twice.

  5. Honest Abe says:

    Norton, who are you saying was drunk? Were you there? Did the police report indicate someone smelled of alcohol? Just because the place sells liquor does not mean that one was drinking. Matter of fact, the report said “when Quesinberry showed up at the restaurant”.

  6. just me says:

    @ Norton , lololol, I just accidentally did the same thing on another article

  7. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t this guy train children at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu academy? What a great example to all the children he teaches. I hope they never let him go back to working with kids.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      He owns it. And always was told the fact the fact he has a Black Belt should raise the charges to Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Person Over 65, a whole ‘nother level.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    @ Norton S and Anonymous, thank you for sharing.
    I am so glad that we can exchange factual information in serious local issues and events that before the existance of Flagler Live, we never even head about.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      PC, We should go Nationwide! But I have to say I have known this guy for a few years and he has never exhibited this type of behavior before. He has worked most of his life to attain the level of skills required to be a Sensei, or Teacher. It means he spent years learning not only his physical skills, but also the restraint and wisdom needed to guide not only your own life, but the hallowed duty to pass this sanctified knowledge on to all his students as it has been done for eons.

      This is not normal behavior for someone who has attained this level of achievement in these arts. I’m sure he is having problems in his personal life. as we all do. Unfortunately, because of the discipline that the adherents of this ancient art has demanded from it’s disciples for centuries, his punishment from this brotherhood will probably be more painful than anything our criminal justice system will slap him with.

      But I can tell him that from my experience, the District Attorney will prosecute him unmercifully without taking this into account.

      • Anonymous says:

        good point, he does have too much too lose, as his level of achievment in the sport doesn’t come overnight. He will have to answer, but it’s not a sensei Daniel son. lol from what i heard our state attorney is great and actually just got the entire ‘rap’ sheet for all involved. looks like mr 65yr old did a whole lot more than knitting in his past.

  9. informed FL voter says:

    A 65 year old man was beat down by a black belt that teaches kids and has his own martial arts school? What makes it worse are the comments after the fact, “I wish I really put it on them.” That comment shows no remorse at all for his actions.

  10. Geezer says:

    I’m “weighing in” late on this one…..
    This lug nut is a martial arts practitioner and instructor?

    He’s also a future alumnus of a prison because he’s a danger to society.
    (assuming the allegations are true)
    This is “assault with a deadly weapon” as the commenter before me stated
    so succinctly.

  11. Doctor Drew says:

    I do Karaoke at Johnny Ds and although i wasnt present at the time i can tell you that Johnny is very diplomatic in his dealings at his establishment and drunkenness is not the word of the day at Johnny Ds. There is always one troblemaker in the crowd and im so sorry that this one put everyone through this traumatic event, agn, it is not the norm here, please come to Johnny Ds and have fun, and uh, leave your personal problems and anger management issues at the door please…peace out, Doctor Drew

  12. Honest Abe says:

    It’s getting closer to knowing the facts in this case. I can only hope that Flagler Live will re-post this story when the truth is told. Maybe all of those quick to find someone guilty without knowing facts or the character of people involved may find it in themselves to apologize (if they assumed wrong). Not only that, but the alleged victim/s in this case may very well become the perpetrator/s. Thankfully we live in America, where one is innocent until proven guilty.

  13. John-Michael says:

    A TOTAL BOGUS ARREST!!!!!
    This arrest and charges were a total fabrication and result of incompetent police officers. I was arrested based on the false statements of the owner of Johnny D’s (John Davis), and his cook (Steve Zelen), who were both intoxicated at the time of the event. The police officers involved, Sgt. Blank, and Officer Archeri (sp?), neglected to interview or take statements from the 5 other witnesses (sober witnesses) there, but rather choose to ONLY accept the statements from the two intoxicated self proclaimed “victims” and an even more intoxicated off duty waitress. All three statements contradicted each other; because they were lies.
    The waitress who made the third statement even contacted me a week after the incident and gave a statement saying that Johnny D had told her that if she wanted to keep her job she would say as he told her to on her initial statement. Johnny also told two other employees that “if they valued their jobs they’d keep there mouth shut about what really happened”. Both of those employees also gave statements after the fact, because the inept officers wouldn’t take them at the time of the incident. I never fled the scene as reported either, I left and called the police immediately to report the incident.
    I think the state attorney said it best, “if either of these Flagler Beach police officers had even halfway done their job the arrest never would have or should have occurred”

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