Florida sugar heir ‘assaulted date after getting angry over gay couple at restaurant’

Florida sugar company heir Alexander Nicholas Fanjul has been arrested over allegations that he assaulted his girlfriend after returning home from a steakhouse where he had become angry about being seated next to a gay couple.

Fanjul, 38, allegedly left his girlfriend with injuries to her head, face, neck, hands, wrist and back. Palm Beach police were called to a home at approximately 11.30pm on 28 January after a person reported hearing a woman screaming.

Officers found Fanjul “standing over a female subject” who was “on the floor in a defensive foetal position and observed to be bleeding from the facial area”.

His girlfriend reported that she’d been dating the heir to Florida Crystals, which grows raw cane in the US, for about 18 months, and that the incident left her feeling she was “going to die.”

It is alleged that Fanjul had become increasingly frustrated after the couple were seated next to a same-sex couple at Flagler Steakhouse, in the Breakers Hotel, and, later, when she asked him to move on from the incident, he set upon her, punching her and subsequently causing “bruising, bleeding and swelling.”

According to a police affidavit, Fanjul is also said to have “kneed her in the face,” causing substantial pain, and took her bag and phone after she threatened to the police.

As she screamed for help, he allegedly “threw her to the ground and forcibly dragged her inside the residence to prevent her from receiving aid or escaping.” Once inside, she claims he began strangling her. A police officer is said to have noticed red marks on her neck as well as a trail of blood on the floor.

“While at dinner, Fanjul initially became irate because the two were seated next to a homosexual couple at the restaurant. Fanjul voiced his frustration to (the victim) at the restaurant, becoming increasingly irate,” according to the affidavit quoted by The Mirror.

“(The victim) further stated that when the two arrived at Fanjul’s residence, Fanjul became increasingly irate and continued to speak about his frustration with the restaurant.”

Fanjul, the eldest son of Alexander Fanjul Sr, director and senior vice-president of Florida Crystals, is facing charges including domestic battery by strangulation, robbery, false imprisonment and possession of cocaine. He was freed on a $180,000 (£143,00) bond and ordered to avoid using non-prescription drugs, and not to contact his accuser.

During a hearing last week, Fanjul’s lawyer told the Palm Beach Post that his client denies all the allegations. 

Fanjul previously dated socialite Tinsley Mortimer, who went on to appear in The Real Housewives of New York City, according to the Daily Mail.

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