IHOP brawl leads to several arrests in Fort Myers

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 08:50:23-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Several people are facing charges after throwing pancake punches at IHOP on S. Cleveland Avenue over the weekend.

Rick Martinez of Fort Myers caught the incident on video, which is quickly going viral. He told Fox 4 the filming began as a joke, until they saw the situation escalate. "They brought alcohol into IHOP. They Weren't listening to the manager who was saying, 'hey, remove the alcohol,'" he said.

The video shows several woman attacking each other and also attacking a deputy who was trying to break up the fight. More deputies arrived to provide backup, but the chaos continued until one deputy stormed through the doors and told everyone to get on the ground, with what appeared to be his Taser in hand.

No one was tased, but you can see people drop like dominos as the deputy takes control and orders everybody to the ground.  The deputy himself even trips over someone’s head.

One woman in the video yelled at the deputy, telling him it was unnecessary. However, Martinez thinks not. "For him to just take control of the situation the way he did, that was pretty top notch."

The video has gotten almost 500 shares and has been viewed more than 50,000 times on Facebook.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office has seen the video too. Fox 4 asked if they thought the situation was handled correctly. They replied with the following statement: 

"Our units were called and responded to a very unstable situation that was turning more and more violent. Soon after our arrival, we took and maintained control of the situation.