MIAMI – Miss Miami Lakes USA maintained all along that she was just defending herself when she hit a South Florida DJ with a baseball bat during a party last year in Hialeah.
Now, it seems a court of law agreed.
A misdemeanor battery charge against Vanesa Barcelo stemming from the December incident was dismissed Wednesday, Miami-Dade County court records show.
Her attorney told Local 10 News that the case was dismissed under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Barcelo was arrested by Hialeah police after she attacked South Florida radio DJ Dave Duperon with a baseball bat during an “ugly sweater party” at her home. Duperon had been invited to help promote Barcelo’s cake business.
However, a memorandum that was sent to prosecutors from Barcelo’s lawyer claimed that Duperon locked himself in the upstairs master bedroom with Barcelo’s unconscious cousin, so Barcelo barged in with some other guests and ordered Duperon to leave.
Multiple listed witnesses said the fight broke out only after Duperon refused to leave, took the bat and started swinging at other guests.
“That’s what really happened,” Barcelo told Local 10 News in February. “I was a hero in this situation.”
She initially faced charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery, but the state only chose to pursue a misdemeanor battery charge.
“You know, I just had to defend myself,” Barcelo said in February. “I had to protect myself and my family members.”
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