DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Police: Bride Assaulted At Wedding Reception

Victim’s brother, a groomsman, now faces felonies

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Wedding Melee

FEBRUARY 26--A wedding guest argued with the bride Saturday evening before assaulting her and striking “multiple wedding goers with his hands and feet,” according to police.

Cops allege that Rontae Stokes, a 45-year-old ex-con, attended the February 24 nuptials of Anita Brooks, his sister, at The Event Hall, a banquet facility in Largo, Florida.

During the wedding celebration, Stokes “got into a verbal altercation with the bride. The defendant battered the bride and created a disturbance at the reception,” according to a felony complaint.

After striking the 48-year-old Brooks, Stokes was “escorted out of the reception hall and struck several other victims,” a group that, cops charge, included his 65-year-old mother, a niece, his brother-in-law, and a bridesmaid.

When questioned by police, Stokes reportedly admitted pushing his sibling to the ground. Court records indicate that alcohol may have played a role in Stokes’s alleged 10 PM rampage.

Seen above, Stokes was booked into the county jail early Sunday on five battery counts, which were charged as felonies due to a prior felony battery conviction. Stokes was also hit with a misdemeanor criminal mischief rap for allegedly throwing a ceramic lawn chair into a glass door as he was being removed from the reception venue.

Stokes, who has a lengthy rap sheet, was convicted last month of disorderly intoxication and fined $500. He has also been found guilty of possessing fentanyl and marijuana and has spent a combined total of more than 10 years in Florida state prisons.

A Zola wedding website includes a photo of Stokes, a St. Petersburg resident who is listed as a “groomsman.” (1 page)