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Lawsuits against MacDinton’s bars allege employee-related violence

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

MacDinton’s Irish Pub is the defendant in two separate lawsuits filed within one month of each other. One lawsuit was filed against the St. Pete location on July 31 and the other against the SoHo Tampa location on August 27. Both allege employee-related violence in which the victim is seeking financial relief.

In the earlier suit, a St. Pete resident argues he was accosted by two MacDinton’s employees and a Signature Security Service employee in the alley behind the Central Avenue Bar while he claims he was taking out the trash. However, David Lutes is not an employee at Cask & Ale so it is unclear why he would have been taking trash into the alley. James Jones, Christopher Ruenger and Cameron Bruick allegedly beat Lutes to the ground.

Lutes claims there were two witnesses to the attack, including his fiance. Police were called, but it’s unclear whether any requests were made. Lutes also claims the attack was unprovoked. He served two prison terms, but both were for nonviolent offenses including credit card fraud and passing bad checks.

Another lawsuit filed in August alleges a violent attack on a patron at the Tampa location of MacDinton’s.

Khaled Alobaid alleges a bouncer attacked him after refusing to return his ID. The lawsuit doesn’t say why the bouncer refused to return the identification, but that the man demanded $50 in order to give it back. Alobaid said he protested over the bouncer’s demand and then was assaulted by the employee.

Alobaid argues he suffered serious injury and now has limited work capacity.

MacDinton’s owners Barry O’Connor, Sean James and Marcus Winters own two other bars on St. Pete’s Central Avenue including Caddy’s on Central and Yard of Ale. The owners also purchased Caddy’s on the Beach on Sunset Beach earlier this year for more than $7 million.

They also own Yard of Ale locations in Tarpon Springs and Tampa.

A previous version of this story said the owners of MacDinton’s also owned Cask & Ale. That is incorrect and this story has been updated to reflect the accurate information. It was also previously reported that David Lutes was a “presumed employee” of Cask & Ale. SaintPetersblog has confirmed with owners of that establishment that Lutes was not and is not an employee.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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