Charges Related to Doral City Manager Altercation Dropped

Charges dropped against Juan Carlos Tovar

Monday, Dec 16, 2013  |  Updated 2:16 PM EDT
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Jesus Suarez, attorney for Juan Carlos Tovar, speaks with reporters after Tovar's arrest. Tovar had accused Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of physical and verbal abuse.

Jesus Suarez, attorney for Juan Carlos Tovar, speaks with reporters after Tovar's arrest. Tovar had accused Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of physical and verbal abuse.

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RAW VIDEO: Surveillance Video of Alleged Incident Between Joe Carollo and Juan Carlos Tovar

Venezuelan developer Juan Carlos Tovar Barrios, 31, was arrested after turning himself in on Wednesday. He faces a charge of false report of crime to law enforcement authority, according to online records. He was in jail on $1,000 bond. Tovar had accused Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of pulling him by the arm and calling him a chavista following a Sept. 25 city council meeting. Here is surveillance video.

Juan Carlos Tovar Arrested

Juan Carlos Tover, the man who accused Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of abuse, is arrested by Doral Police to face a charge of filing a false police report.
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The Venezuelan developer who was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report after accusing Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of physically and verbally attacking him won't face charges.

All charges have been dropped against Juan Carlos Tovar Barrios, according to a Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office memo released Monday.

Javier Alejandro Bellon, a witness to the alleged incident who was charged with giving false information to police, also won't face charges, according to the memo from prosecutor Johnette Hardiman.


"Had the City Manager not been involved, the case would not have been given the scrutiny and intense police work that it was given," Hardiman wrote in the memo, dated Dec. 2.

Tovar's attorney said he is in Venezuela and is unavailable for comment.

Tovar had accused Carollo of pulling him by the arm and calling him a chavista – a supporter of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez – following a Sept. 25 city meeting where the council voted unanimously to approve a plan to benefit Tovar's luxury development. Bellon was named as a witness, according to police.

In a statement to police written in Spanish, Tovar said Carollo had cursed at him with a threatening attitude. He later changed his initial account and said Carollo pushed him, according to police.

Bellon gave police a detailed account of the alleged battery and demonstrated how it happened to investigators, refusing to change his testimony when he was told there was video evidence of the incident, according to his arrest report. Bellon said he was "mistaken" after watching the video that shows him with his back to the scene at the time the alleged battery happened, police said.

Doral Police said they, along with the State Attorney's Office, concluded there was no battery after reviewing surveillance video and interviewing other witnesses. The video shows Tovar in the lobby and walking into another room after the meeting.

Carollo had previously denied Tovar and Bellon's accusations, calling them "a lie." Tovar and Bellon were arrested in October.

In her memo, Hardiman said Tovar and Bellon shouldn't have been arrested in the first place.

"It is my opinion that any repercussions for the reports have already been felt.  Under normal circumstances, there would not have been an arrest of either defendant," she wrote.

Bellon and Tovar were arrested the same week Doral Mayor Luigi Boria made a motion to fire Carollo. The council supported Carollo 3-2 in a vote of confidence.

Tovar is a former client of Boria's and a former business partner of Boria’s two adult children, according to The Miami Herald.

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