A Florida judge has granted Joe Schilling immunity from a civil lawsuit filed against him by Justin Balboa.
The suit claimed that Schilling had “viciously attacked, physically struck and assaulted” Balboa during a scrap at B Square Burgers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was caught on video and went viral.
Schilling filed for immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law after the lawsuit was filed, and the judge ultimately found that he was justified in striking Balboa under the law because he “reasonably believed” Balboa posed a threat of great bodily harm to himself.
Background of the incident
In the video of the incident, Balboa is seen talking to patrons when he bumps into Schilling, who moves him to the side and continues to walk. Balboa appears to signal Schilling verbally, prompting him to turn around.
Balboa then appears to fake a punch and lunge slightly at Schilling, who knocks him out with a pair of punches.
Balboa later identified Schilling as his assailant to the police, claiming that he was “cracked” for no reason, “chased me down” and “beat my ass.”
The judge found that Balboa was “boisterous” and “calling attention to himself” and admitted he was intoxicated after a “good” or “decent” number of shots.
Balboa approached Schilling and his companion’s table, and the companion testified that she heard him say “something about fighting” to Schilling. After a “brief” exchange, Schilling asked Balboa to leave the table.
During the interaction caught on tape, the judge found Balboa’s “feinting gesture towards Schilling” made the professional fighter believe he was about to be punched.
According to the court order, Schilling used only the force necessary to neutralize the threat posed by Balboa and was therefore entitled to immunity. Schilling’s attorney called the ruling a “complete and total victory” for his client.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.