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Driver in altercation at Palm Harbor strip club comes forward

TAMPA — The driver authorities say struck and injured a bouncer outside a Palm Harbor strip club, then drove off, came forward Wednesday as officials weighed whether to file charges.

Jacques Ayyub, 29, of Clearwater spent Wednesday afternoon talking to Florida Highway Patrol troopers at their Pinellas Park station.

"He wasn't arrested today, and I don't think he's ever going to be arrested, but that decision will ultimately be made by the State Attorney's Office," said his attorney, Barry Cohen, at a news conference Wednesday in Tampa.

According to troopers, a man later identified as Ayyub was involved in an altercation about 3 a.m. Friday at Silks, 37100 U.S. 19 N, with Douglas Berube, who was working security, authorities said. Berube tried to stop Ayyub, who got in his car and struck the bouncer while driving off, authorities said. Berube, 42, was hospitalized with serious injuries. The incident was caught on surveillance video.

Ayyub said he was at Silks for a birthday party when a friend got into an altercation with Berube and a disc jockey. While he and his friend were leaving in separate cars, Ayyub said the two grabbed him through his car window before he drove off.

Although a Highway Patrol report said Berube was intentionally struck, Ayyub said he did not know he had run him over.

"I was getting slammed into my door, trying to drag me out," Ayyub said. "There was a lot of impact happening."

Ayyub has never been convicted of a crime in Florida, records show, although he faced a felony grand theft charge that was dropped earlier this year.

The incident remains under investigation, the FHP said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Driver in altercation at Palm Harbor strip club comes forward 09/03/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 9:55pm]
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