Joel Michael Singer is the Florida man who was recorded headbutting another man and then being wrestled to the ground at a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale before police arrived.
The video begins by showing Singer arguing with two men. One of the men accuses Singer of punching another man. Singer walks away from the men only to return and headbutt one of the men. Singer is then taken to the ground by a witness who tells Singer, “You’re f***ing done.” The headbutted man then threatens Singer. Singer attempts to escape and initiate a conversation with the man holding him down. The video ends when the police arrive and escort Singer away.
According to a post on Reddit purported to be from the man who tackled Singer, 31, the video was recorded in July 2019 and uploaded first in August. The video was recorded at YOLO, a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Singer Identified Himself as the Man in the Video Through Several Copyright Claims
Singer has identified himself as the man in the video through multiple copyright claims he has made against Vimeo and Google. Those copyright claims were successful, and the video has been removed from video streaming sites on multiple occasions. In more than one of those claims, Singer calls the clip, “Video of me being attacked.” The first copyright claim made by Singer in relation to the video was made in September 2019.
In his most recent copyright claim, which was made in April 2020, Singer alleged that the uploader of the video was “enticing threat and violence” against him. Singer complained about the comments on a Reddit thread that remains public despite the video being deleted.
Court records in Broward County, Florida, do not reveal any criminal or civil cases involving Singer and the incident. The man who tackled Singer, Steven Heflin, told Heavy that he has had “zero interaction” with Singer since the incident.
A Website Dedicated to the Video Has Accused Singer of ‘Buying His Way’ Out of Trouble
You can watch the full video above. The video returned on YouTube in May 2020. At the same time, a website named JoelMichaelSinger.com appeared. The website describes Singer as an “aggressive drunk, s*** fighter.” The description accuses Singer of using his money to “buy [his] way” out of infamy.
The website was the first to identify Singer as being an employee of Coastal Wealth financial planners in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Heavy has reached out to Coastal Wealth for confirmation of Singer’s employment. Singer does not have a profile on the company’s website.
The website also provided a link to Singer’s Facebook page; both the link and the Facebook page have since been deleted.
Heflin told Heavy, “People there at YOLO that night said he was from a well to do/well-known family and he would come after me. But nah, I’m just living. … Doing my own thing.”
The Original Reddit Post About the Video Was Posted in the ‘Bully Backfire’ Subreddit
The original video and post was removed by Reddit in September 2019. The post was uploaded to Reddit’s Bully Backfire thread. The disclaimer at the top of the thread reads, “This content was removed in response to a copyright claim by a third party.”
Heflin, identified on Reddit as Steve3000, posted in the thread when he was asked if he had been excessive:
Excessive is very subjective. I certainly didn’t have time to consider ‘how do I not hurt him’ when he swung at me after he just assaulted two other people.
The cops took fifteen minutes and I had his arm in the headlock the whole time so he was not in danger. You can ‘what if’ this to death but in the moment with a bar of mostly women and a very hostile Larry, I did what needed to be done.
The latest Reddit thread on the Singer video was posted to the Instant Karma subreddit.
Separately, Heflin told Heavy, “If I’m being honest, I didn’t think about how to tackle or take him down. I just reacted when he swung at me. I wrestled in high school. Barely made varsity until my senior year honestly. He had a jacket on which made it easy to grab hold and just use my center of gravity to pivot. Logical if you think about it.
“So many people speculated I know jujitsu or MMA. Nope. I was in the Army National Guard as a kid for like seven years and just high school wrestling before that. That’s it. Lizard brain took over when he swung, simple as that. The commentary I did during the scuffle was just me being me. Had no idea it was being recorded. … Funny how that works.”