Cardi B Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges Stemming From Bar Fight
By Anna Tingley
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Cardi B and two co-defendants pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges Tuesday in regards to a Queens bar fight in August of last year.
Originally only charged with misdemeanors, the rapper (whose original name is Belcalis Almanzar) was later indicted with two felony counts of attempted assault on Friday after denying a plea deal. Now the indictment, which is also pointed at co-defendants Tawana “RemyRojaLaPerla” Jackson-Morel, 36, and Jeffrey “AstonMartinChuck” Bush, 34, includes 14 total charges, including misdemeanors for reckless endangerment, assault, criminal solicitation, conspiracy and harassment. The defendants could possibly be sentenced to up to four years in prison if convicted.
In a statement released by the Queens District Attorney’s Office, attorney John. M Ryan wrote, “The defendants in this case are accused of two premeditated attacks on two women working at a club in Queens last summer. The victims allegedly had glass bottles hurled at them, alcoholic drinks thrown in their faces and one woman’s head was slammed into the bar. This kind of violence won’t be tolerated in our community. The defendants will be held accountable for their alleged actions.”
According to the indictment, Bush and an “unapprehended female” placed a drink order from a female bartender at the Angels Gentleman’s Club and Restaurant shortly after 3 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2018, when the “unapprehended female allegedly grabbed the [bartender] by her hair, slammed her head into the bar and began punching her repeatedly.” Then, three additional women apparently joined to strike the victim repeatedly. Bush is alleged to have video recorded the attack.
Also in the indictment was apparent evidence of the group’s mediated efforts leading up to the attack, including chats between defendants Almanzar and Jackson-Morel on a social media platform in which they “allegedly coordinated the day, time, and location the attack would take place, as well as whom they were targeting.” According to the statement, the two discussed a money exchange for the planned attack.
The indictment also outlines an Aug. 29 attack at the same strip club, this time targeting the 23-year-old sister of the first victim. Just like the first attack, the fight was allegedly coordinated by Bush and Almanzar on social media beforehand. According to the statement, “At approximately 3:30 a.m., defendant Jackson-Morel allegedly threw a cocktail into the 23-year-old woman’s face and defendants Bush and Almanzar, as well as several unapprehended others, also threw drinks, glass bottles and various objects at the bartender. The glass bottles shattered on the floor of the club, as a result the victim sustained lacerations to her legs, bruising to her feet and the alcohol thrown in her face irritated her eyes.”
Jackson-Morel and Bush are set to return to court on Sept. 9. ’s next court date is not yet scheduled.