Andrew Palacios went out to celebrate his 34th birthday earlier this month and has been hospitalized since.
Palacios was at a nightclub in Fort Lauderdale in the early morning hours of July 1, the day after his birthday. For the next two days, his relatives didn’t hear from him and grew worried, his sister Daisy Palacios, 28, said.
She said one of their siblings tracked the location of Palacios’ cellphone, finding him at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale Police said a security guard for a private business and an adult man were in an altercation about 2:30 a.m. July 1 in the 300 block of Southwest Second Street, and fire rescue took the man to the hospital as a trauma alert. They did not identify Palacios as the victim or release details about the circumstances of the altercation.
Justin Brown, 28, was later identified as the security guard, and a warrant was issued for his arrest, police said.
U.S. Marshals and the police department’s Fugitive Unit arrested Brown in Tuscaloosa, Ala., earlier this week on a count of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement. He will be extradited to Broward County, police said.
Daisy Palacios said surveillance video from the nightclub showed her brother standing outside in the doorway when the bouncer pushed him. It isn’t clear what happened prior to that.
“He fell backwards, hit his head and immediately went unconscious,” Daisy Palacios said.
Her brother remains hospitalized and on a breathing machine. She hasn’t been able to talk to him yet, but he is beginning to be more alert, she said.
Wednesday was the first day he was not fully sedated. It is too early to know what the extent of Palacios’ injuries may be, his sister said.
His family and friends are visiting him multiple times a day. He has an 8-year-old daughter and is an expectant father of a son, his sister said.
“They said that it will be a long road to recovery,” she said.
She said she learned Tuesday afternoon that Brown was in custody.
“It was an extreme relief, just to know that essentially my brother would be getting justice in this situation,” Daisy Palacios said. “Even though he did a horrendous thing to my brother, it still makes us very emotional that this man’s life may also be ruined for something that happened in just a minute.”