Posted on November 12, 2009

Wedding Goes Wild As Guests Throw Punches

Tammie Fields, WTSP-TV (Tampa Bay), November 11, 2009

Tasha Johnson and Markeith’s fairy tale themed wedding featured a horse and carriage. The ceremony was held Sunday at an oceanside gazebo at The Rusty Pelican restaurant located at 2425 Rocky Point Drive in the Rocky Point district of Tampa. Workers at the venue even say the event was stunning and everyone was having a good time.

There was an elegant reception in the Grand Ballroom which features walls of windows that allow guests to watch the sun set over Old Tampa Bay.

By all accounts it was the perfect unforgettable wedding but some guests are wishing they could forget what happened during the reception {snip}.

Tampa Police say around 9 p.m. during the reception one guest became upset when the groom started tossing money onto the dance floor for the children to scoop up. The groom and his brother confronted the guest and asked him to leave. Tempers flared and some pushing and shoving took place. Some of the wedding guests chose sides and that led to an all out brawl that spilled out into the parking lot. Investigators say nearly 40 people were involved.

Tampa police officers arrived to break up the crowd and one of the first officers to respond was hit several times while trying to break up the fights.


The fighting ruined the reception and some of the guests and wedding party members headed to their hotel nearby where the fighting erupted all over again in the parking lot of the Marriott Residence Inn which is located at 4312 Boy Scout Boulevard. A woman put the groom’s 74 year old grandmother, Mary Wright in a choke hold.


According to detectives one of the wedding guests called a relative to come over and get involved in the brawl. Malcolm Hepburn who wasn’t a wedding guest showed up and started beating up the groom’s father in the hotel parking lot according to police. They say Hepburn threw Andrew Thompson to the ground and kicked him in the face and ribs. Thompson says he didn’t even see it coming.

Tampa police arrested Hepburn who they say was armed with a stolen gun and investigators say they have identified the female accused of attacking the groom’s grandmother. If captured she will face criminal charges.

The bride and groom were not hurt. Family members say they’re now celebrating their honeymoon in the Bahamas.