Two Canadians jailed in the Dominican Republic for a fight that disrupted a destination wedding have been freed and will return home, according to a message left on their Facebook support page.
Nick Miele and Ben Constantini spent 20 days behind bars after a brawl broke out shortly after Miele's wedding ceremony. The 34-year-old groom was at the Bahia Principe Esmeralda resort in Punta Cana last month with his wife Stacey Vernon when a fight broke out at the resort.
According to eye witnesses, the fight started with two other Canadian men in line at the resort's snack bar.
“They fell down on a group of women, and one of [the women] got hit in the face,” Justin Worby told CBC News. According to Worby, one of the women the men fell on was Vernon. Miele and Constantini, Vermon's cousin, jumped in and started fighting one of the men, while the second man fled.
Other witnesses said a third man, not known to anyone, joined the fray, pummelling the man Constantini and Miele were fighting with but then took off before local law enforcement arrived on scene.
“From behind me, from out of nowhere, this guy is screaming in what sounded like Russian,” she said. “He just flew in and drop-kicked this other guy. It was unbelievable. I thought he was dead.”
When security arrived at the scene, both Vermon and Miele were taken to police officers who didn’t speak English, Vermon told Global News.
Both men were charged with physical aggression and initially faced up to two years in prison and a $100,000 charge for the damage the victim requested in court.
However, the prosecution and the lawyer representing Miele and Constantini reached an agreement on Monday to drop the charge of physical aggression, allowing the two to return home to Canada, the Brampton Guardian reports.
Diane Ablonczy, Canada's minister of state of foreign affairs (Americas and consular affairs), said in a statement she was happy how the incident was resolved.
"We are pleased that the two Canadian parties involved in an altercation in the Dominican Republic have found common ground in order to resolve their situation," she said. "Canada has called for fairness and due process for both parties, and Dominican officials have assured us that all involved will continue to be treated justly and according to local laws while on Dominican Republic soil.
As for Vermon, she's just happy the ordeal involving her husband and cousin is finally over.
"It was such a relief," Vernon told The Hamilton Spectator. "We bawled. We cried. We laughed. It's unbelievable."
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