2. The Incident
The big night was Friday, October 21st, 2016. The Mixtli team was heading up to Dallas to cook for Park & Palate, an annual event at Klyde Warren Park. I had just completed the core software necessary for my company and had driven up separately with a trunk full of brand new business cards and shiny new suits to go make industry contacts with. Their event wasn't until Saturday, so we were allowed to spend the night carousing around downtown.
We began at the Fairmont Hotel lobby where we met up with one of Cassie's old high school friends from California, also named Alex, who just so happened to have moved to Dallas. She was wearing a very revealing outfit which Diego proceeded to make multiple comments about. I initially assumed they were in jest, but the persistence of them were definitely off-putting, including getting up from the table to observe her and Cassie as they walked off to use the restroom before we departed the hotel.
Our next stop was a visit to a club called Sidebar. It was before their prime operating hours so the club was relatively empty. Here, Diego continued to be very aggressive towards Cassie's friend Alex, including at one point taking her phone out of her hands to scroll through her text messages and ask her things similar to, "Ben? Who's Ben? Is he a boyfriend? Should I worry about him?" This was an odd departure from his usual behavior because I've seen Diego stumbling drunk on various occasions and I've never seen him get this way. While I would never make this accusation outright without further evidence, his behavior seems to confirm what I thought I had observed in the men's restroom. At one point he went into a bathroom stall and didn't seem to actually need to use the facilities. He was in there for a few moments before I heard the tell-tale sniff of someone inhaling cocaine through their nose and from that point on is when he was incredibly aggressive. I later asked other industry professionals and they each used the word "dabbled" to describe his cocaine usage.
His behavior was very off-putting towards Alex, at which point she began to avoid him by hanging out very close to me, since I was doing my standard bar-dad routine by staying relatively sober and ensuring everyone had a safe, fun time. Diego did seem to notice that Alex was ensuring her full attention was towards me so that he couldn't interrupt anymore and his body language indicated that he did not appreciate this at all. At this point he turns his attentions to Cassie and they go to the dance floor.
What followed was a very one-sided dance where Diego was trying to rub up against Cassie and she clearly was not comfortable doing that in public. At the conclusion of their dance, however, they had ended at the opposite end of the club and thought they were relatively alone from prying eyes. Diego leaned in and kissed her on the mouth for a second as they stared into each others' eyes. Upon observing this, I sent Cassie a text at 11:43 PM saying, "For the record, and mainly so I remember it later… you kissed Diego."
She comes over and I reserve my moral judgments for another time, instead giving her a tactical lecture on keeping those types of actions out of the public eye. I warn her that she can end up in the background of someone's Facebook photo and they have more than enough notoriety for someone to see them and call it out. She was very receptive to all of this and assured me that she could keep Diego under control.
With the exception of Rico we all head to a pub, The Ginger Man, to wind down the night. At some point, Diego tells Cassie to go close their bar tab because they're going back to the hotel. She protests, because they don't have to cook until later in the day so there's plenty of time to stay out and spend time with her friends. He yells at her to close the tab and that he'll be waiting outside for the Uber. Alex asks me to check in on her because she thought this exchange was very odd but didn't feel she knew both of them well enough to ask about it. As Cassie is closing out I ask her if she'll be okay and she assures me that she will be. I informed her that I'd be downtown for awhile yet and to get in touch with me if Diego got too aggressive with her. Acknowledging this upset her greatly and she left in a huff to go join Diego.
At some point just a minute or two after leaving, Diego finds out about the fact that I had seen the kiss. My last memory is seeing him run into the pub from the corner of my left view. I recall turning to face him to welcome him back and ask him if they'd be out longer. The exact combination I was hit with isn't known to me, but inferring via my injuries and witness statements, it is at this point that he catches me with a sucker punch across my left temple, knocking me unconscious. While I am unconscious, he takes me by my shirt and begins slamming me against the window that I was standing in front of, causing a moderate concussion in the process. When I began to wake back up, he was still holding me by the shirt as he screamed, "I will kill you! Don't you ever talk to Cassie again! I will fucking murder you!"
I do recall trying to push him off me for a moment before he slams me into the window again and my vision goes dark for another moment. At this point the door guy and onlookers are intervening to pull him off me. He gets free from them and runs off into the night to get away.
Around 10 minutes later, at 12:55 AM, I receive a call from Cassie where she's crying and asking me what happened. I do recall that she was there to see the tail end of the assault, but I don't believe that she witnessed much beyond him running away. I do my best to assure her that everything will be okay, but even at that point I'm aware that I've suffered significant damage.
Following a CAT scan at the hospital to ensure no bleeding, swelling, or fractures, I filed a police report.