NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodEstero


Fort Myers man was assaulted after he says group yells homophobic slurs

LCSO is investigating the assault.
Posted at 4:45 PM, Jun 07, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — June 1 turned out to be a difficult night for one young man. Michael White and his friends say they were standing outside between Pelican Larry's and Urban Buzz waiting on their ride. According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, he was assaulted that night.

Fort Myers man assaulted, shares his story

It started out as a 19th birthday party.

Michael says a dark-colored SUV pulled up with people shouting homophobic slurs out of the window. He says the driver of the SUV stopped, got out, and the next thing Michael knew, everything faded to black.

"I have a brain bleed, multiple fractures in my face, my nose is broken in two different places, and my entire left side of my body is scratched and bruised," he said.

He says he is thankful to be here after doctors and nurses told him he could have lost his life if the attack were any more severe.

Mary Estrema is Michael's mother. She says after losing her 16-year-old daughter to cancer, it was terrible to receive the call about Michael's condition.

"I was terrified, fearful, a range of emotions from top to bottom," she said.

Now, the family wants to speak out.

"I didn't lay a finger on someone, I didn't say a thing to anybody, I didn't instigate anything. I'm pretty sure I don't even know who this person is."

In a statement to FOX 4, this is what Pelican Larry's had to say:

"Our whole staff here at Pelican Larry's feels terrible about what happened to Michael. We take pride in our nightly security team we have here, but unfortunately this event started outside a few 100 feet away from our staff. We do not condone that type of violence perpetrated on anyone for any reason. The staff is very upset..."
Pelican Larry's

Michael says he now has thousands of dollars in medical bills rolling in and is open to support.