A witness charged with giving false information to police was in custody Friday morning after a Venezuelan developer accused Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of physically and verbally attacking him.
Javier Alejandro Bellon, who police had been trying to contact since Tuesday, was arrested at 9:30 a.m. Friday. He was being held on $1,000 bond, jail records show.
Developer Juan Carlos Tovar Barrios had accused Carollo of pulling him by the arm and calling him a chavista - a supporter of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - after 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, acccording 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 surrrendered to police Wednesday and was released on $1,000 bond.
Bellon and Tovar were arrested the same week Doral Mayor Luigi Boria made a motion to fire Carollo. Boria made the motion Wednesday after removing the item from the meeting agenda. 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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