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Orange County Election

D1 County Commissioner candidate Austin Arthur has felony arrest record

Instant Photo Poster
Norine Dworkin

Editor in Chief

Monday, February 26, 2024


VoxPopuli reporter Andrea Charur meets candidate Austin Arthur at his rally for his county commissioner campaign Feb. 6, 2024, at Ocoee's Lakeshore Center.

Austin Arthur, 38, candidate for District 1 Orange County Commissioner has a felony  arrest record. 

In 2009, when the Winter Garden owner of Gymnastics USA and Stars and Stripes Management was 23, he was arrested on third-degree felony charges — twice in the same year. Neither case ended up being prosecuted. 

VoxPopuli pulled the Orange County court records and the arrest affidavits from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to learn what happened.

Case 1: What were the charges?

On Jan. 12, 2009, Arthur was charged with Battery on a Uniformed Security Officer and Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer without Violence.

Battery on a Uniformed Security Officer is the third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer without Violence is a first-degree misdemeanor — the most serious of misdemeanors — and carries a one-year jail sentence with a $1,000 fine.

What happened?

Officer Jason Gorberg was working at the House of Blues “in an off-duty capacity” on Jan. 12, according to the arrest affidavit he filed. 

Around 1:45 a.m. a House of Blues security officer had escorted a guest out of an exit door, and when he turned around, he saw Arthur “approaching him in a fast and aggressive manner” … and then Arthur “punched him in the face with a closed fist, striking him in the facial area (nose).”

Other House of Blues security officers helped him get Arthur out of the club and that’s where Gorberg, who'd just come around a corner, saw them “attempting to restrain [Arthur] who was actively fighting as he was taken to the ground.” Gorberg explains in the affidavit that he was wearing his Sheriff's Deputy uniform and drew his "Electronic Control Weapon."

At this point, Arthur was “on his stomach and actively attempting to complete a push-up in order to clear security from his back.”

Gorberg ordered him to stop resisting, but Arthur “continued to resist all requests to stop fighting.” Gorberg shouted “CLEAR!” then tased him. Gorberg stated Arthur continued to resist and tried to stand up. Gorberg was about to tase him again, when Arthur complied and put his hands behind his head. He was handcuffed, arrested and taken to Orange County’s Booking and Release Center where he was assigned Inmate Number 09001823. Arthur's father posted a $1,600 bond.

The security officer who’d been assaulted, stated that he wanted to press charges, but the case was not prosecuted.

Arthur responds 

Arthur told VoxPopuli in a series of text messages that the House of Blues security officer "shoved me and I hit him, which turned into a 'fight' instantly. Arthur said it was dark in the club, and he was defending himself against an "unknown attacker ... In my mind, I assumed I was being attacked by a gang." Later, after they reviewed the surveillance tapes, the security officer said it was a mistaken identity." "He made a mistake, and I made a mistake by not having more control to be cognizant of my surroundings and what was happening."  

Case 2: What were the charges?

On May 9, 2009, Arthur was charged with Criminal Mischief, more commonly known as vandalism. This is the “willful and malicious” damage by any means to property that belongs to someone else. When damage is more than $1,000, it reaches third-degree felony level. 

What happened?

According to the arrest affidavit filed by Officer John Martinez of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Arthur and a buddy were arrested outside Knight Library, a sports bar near University of Central Florida, after the bar’s water suddenly cut out.

A bar employee went to check the water lines outside at the back of the building. There, he spotted some broken pipes and then saw Arthur and his buddy “standing next to a broken pipe” while the buddy was “kicking away” at it. The employee yelled at them to stop, and the two ran. But the bar employee caught Arthur’s buddy and held him until police arrived. Arthur was arrested when he returned for his buddy. Both were sent to the Orange County Booking and Release Center where Arthur was assigned Inmate Number 09022158. He posted $1,000 bond. Orange County Utilities sent a crew to shut off the water.

Six back flow valves were damaged, requiring immediate repair at $400 each, for a total cost of $2,400.  The property manager, Monroe Booth, stated that they wanted to press charges and testify, but the case was not prosecuted. 

Arthur responds 

At the Knight Library, a very close friend of mine had been drinking heavily and was emotionally distraught regarding personal struggles he was going through. I stepped to the side of the building to find him kicking sprinkler heads. During that moment, police spotted this activity and arrested both of us. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and not kicking sprinkler heads. This is why the charges were dropped.

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