MYRTLE BEACH — A “Welcome to Myrtle Manor” cast member arrested in connection with a fight early Sunday at Broadway at the Beach said Wednesday that he was attempting to break up a fight between other men.
Taylor Jonathan Burt, 28, was charged with disorderly conduct fighting/force company on another, a misdemeanor, according to online arrest records. In addition to Burt, Myrtle Beach police charged three other men in connection with the incident that was reported at 1:30 a.m. Sunday following a dance contest involving a 29-year-old woman’s skirt being lifted by one of the men, according to a police report.
On Wednesday, Burt denied hitting anyone during the incident, but instead he was helping to stop the men from fighting.
“We have video evidence of the altercation from beginning to end that …shows me …[not] involved at all,” Burt said. “I was pulling one guy off another while security was elsewhere being overwhelmed with other fights. All I was doing was helping someone being attacked. If someone was attacking me I would hope that someone would do the same for me.”
In Sunday’s incident, police charged Shane Andrew Parra, 25, of Myrtle Beach, Tiequan Charles Southerland, 24, of Ashburn, Va., and Davon Cortez Silvera, 21, of Landover, Md., with third-degree assault and battery, according to reports.
Officers were at Broadway at the Beach for an unrelated call when they saw a large fight, according to the police report. Officers got the situation under control and spoke to the 29-year-old woman, who said she was dancing on stage for the contest when Parra lifted her skirt.
Parra told police he touched the victim’s skirt, but did not lift it, according to the report. Parra said Southerland walked up to him and asked why he lifted the victim’s skirt.
Southerland is a cousin of the victim.
Parra told police he walked away to avoid a confrontation, but Southerland punched him in the face, according to the report. Southerland told police he saw Parra lift the victim’s skirt and confronted him about it. Southerland said he was upset and he punched Parra in the face.
Police reviewed the video surveillance footage and saw Silvera also punched Parra, according to the report. Silvera told police he did punched Parra.
While police were talking to Silvera they saw another fight and a security guard said that Burt tried to hit a person in the crowd. The guard detained Burt, who told police he did not try to hit anyone, but was instead trying to break up a fight.
“I’m confident the video evidence that clear shows what truly happened that these charges will not hold,” Burt said.
Zach Holder, who videoed the fight with he cellphone, said that he saw Burt walking with his hands up, trying to calm people down.
“I turned the corner to a fight involving 10 people, none of which were the people I knew. [Burt] was not involved. I pulled out my phone to film it because it can be used as evidence if anyone is hurt and they can’t figure out who did it,” Holder said. “Security started breaking it up and then . . . more people started to fight. Security broke that up again. Then a man in a red shirt punches a man in a purple shirt in the face and as soon as he does that everybody in the vicinity tries to restrain him, including Taylor J. Burt.”
Holder said he saw Burt moving the man involved in the fight away from the man who was punched.
“Then a tall security guard comes straight through the crowd and grabs Taylor J. Burt and pens him up against the fence and starts saying Taylor tried to punch him in the face,” Holder said and noted he didn’t see Burt tried to hit anyone. “He was not being aggressive toward anyone; he was basically trying to stop anyone from hurting anyone else.”
Burt’s attorney, Jonny McCoy, said he believes Burt will be cleared of the charge once the case is heard in court.
“This one in particular stands out because of the overwhelming amount of evidence in Taylor’s favor including a full-length video of the incident and several witness statements corroborating Taylor’s statement that he was operating as an employee of the bar that night and trying to break up a fight in an around the bar,” McCoy said. “We don’t blame the City of Myrtle Beach for charging Taylor. There was a lot of commotion. There were a lot of stories being told and unfortunately in this particular incident Taylor did attempt to break up the fight and when that happens people confuse the fighters with the people who are trying to break up the fight.”
Burt had an opportunity to plead guilty to the charge and leave with time service, but McCoy said he advised his client not to do that.
“After talking with some of the witnesses and reviewing the video there’s no way that Taylor was going to plead guilty to something he didn’t do,” McCoy said. “I honestly believe there were too many stories of who was involved and they did their due diligence and arrested Taylor for the smallest misdemeanor that you can have when you’re involved in an incident like that.”
The second season of the show is expected to air in 2014.
Cast members recently finished filming the second season on the “Myrtle Manor” set – which is tucked at the back of Patrick’s Mobile Home Park on Highway 15 – and around the Grand Strand.
Shannon Martin, spokeswoman for TLC, said she couldn’t release any information about the progress of the show.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.