Mark Bartlett is a Florida business owner accused of slinging racial slurs at a group of young African-American men while walking toward them with a gun.
You can watch the video below, but be aware that it contains graphic and disturbing language. Bartlett is 51-years-old, and he’s from Hollywood, Florida. According to The Miami Herald, the young men he approached were taking part in a “Bikes Up Guns Down” event in Miami.
Bartlett and the woman seen in the video have both defended themselves in interviews with Florida news outlets.
Bartlett told News One: “The reason why we use that word, the reason why Chinese people use the word, why Japanese people, European people, the reason why everybody uses that word is because Black people use that word.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Video Shows a Confrontation at an Anti-Gun Violence Event That Escalates to Racial Slurs
Local10, an ABC affiliate, identified the people in the video as Mark Bartlett and his girlfriend, Dana Scalione. The video was recorded by a group called Dream Defenders.
The Miami Herald described the men in the video as protesters who were “protesting the affordable housing crisis in Miami’s Liberty Square community.”
In the video, the woman alleges one of the young men ran over her foot, and gets in an angry face-to-face verbal confrontation with one of them. “Don’t touch me, you bunch of thugs,” the woman in the video says at one point to the young men. One of the young men calls her a “white as-” and says “f-ck you, b-tch.” That’s when the man in the video walks forward with a gun. “F—ing dumb as– stupid n—–s,” the man in the video states at one point in the disturbing video. He also is heard to state, “Get out of here you piece of s—.” He also says, “F-cking losers.”
One of the young men says in the video, “ya’ll going to make the news.”
Dream Defenders has posted a second video on Twitter.
S. Lee Merrit, a prominent lawyer, alleged: “This woman confronted a group of kids on bikes for blocking traffic while participating in a march on #MLKDay19. She lied & claimed her foot was ran over by a bike and her racist gun wielding boyfriend came to the rescue. Now we will come to the rescue of these kids.”
2. Mark Bartlett Is Accused of a Gun Charge & Denies Being a Racist
Miami-Dade online court records confirm that Bartlett stands accused of carrying a concealed weapon unlawfully. His full name is given in court records as Mark Allen Bartlett. The case is listed as a felony, and the bond amount was given as $5,000.
10News reports that, per a police report, Bartlett was driving a Range Rover and left the scene, but police stopped him nearby. He’s accused of not having a concealed carry permit, the television station reported, quoting him as allegedly telling police, “Why am I being arrested when those kids are free to ride around? I did pull out my gun, but I never pointed it at them.”
The station reports that Bartlett spoke to Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright. The station’s story reports that Bartlett “said he isn’t a racist and only made the racial slurs out of anger,” alleging that he said he took out the gun because Scalione, his girlfriend, was “outnumbered by the teens and he feared for her safety.” For her part, the station reports that Scalione alleged that “racial slurs were thrown around from both sides and claimed the teens called her a racist term for white people.”
3. Dana Scalione, His Girlfriend, Is a Florida Real Estate Broker
According to her LinkedIn page, Bartlett’s girlfriend, Dana Scalione, 45, is a Florida real estate broker for Insignia International Properties in Miami, Florida, a position she’s held since 2014. Her skills on LinkedIn include waterfront and rental properties.
Heavy has reached out to Scalione by email, seeking comment, and will post any comment that is received. Bartlett and Scalione have appeared together in a photo on a realty website. She has also been photographed at charity events.
In 2015, the company congratulated Scalione over the sale of a $1 million-plus property. Voter records in Florida list Dana Scalione as an active voter who is affiliated with the Republican Party.
4. In a Bankruptcy Filing, Bartlett Listed Property That Included a Ferrari & He’s Been Involved in Civil Suits Throughout the Years
Federal court records show that Mark Allen Bartlett filed for bankruptcy in Florida in August 2018. In that filing, which you can read above, he listed personal property totaling more than $1.759 million. However, he said that his liabilities totaled more than $6 million.
He listed his monthly income as more than $34,000 but his monthly expenses as exceeding $42,000. He said he had $1.67 million in “domestic support obligations.” Among his property, he listed a Ferrari, a Land Rover, and various pieces of personal property, including a white shag rug, plastic vase with imitation flowers, wood carved pigs, men’s Rolex, and Louis Vuitton luggage.
He described himself as a self-employed business owner for “various businesses.” He is not married.
The bankruptcy filing lists Dana Scalione’s name:
In addition to a divorce in Cook County, Illinois, Bartlett’s bankruptcy filing lists several civil cases, including one filed against his brother. That suit states that Mark Bartlett “alleges that he and his brother James Bartlett jointly own American Cash Loans, LLC, and B &B Investment Group.”
5. The Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Expressed Outrage Over the Incident & Assigned Hate Crime Investigators to the Case
Kathy Fernandez Rundle, the state’s attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida, issued a statement on Twitter.
“I am outraged at the reported acts depicted in videos taken during the Brickell District incident on #MLKDay I have assigned my Hate Crimes Unit Chief to handle this case & am committed to filing the appropriate charges & vigorously prosecute the case to fullest extent of the law,” she wrote.
She further wrote that she has been in communication with the City of Miami mayor and police chief over the matter.