WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. | The West Melbourne Police Department announced Feb. 4 that the individual who called in a bomb threat to Twisted Rooster, a no-labels bar in Melbourne, has been arrested.
The caller, identified by police as 18-year-old Randolph Goodwin, contacted Twisted Rooster on Jan. 31 at 4:45 p.m., asked if the business was open yet and if it was a gay bar. According to the police report, when Goodwin learned that it is a “no-labels bar,” he screamed into the phone that he was going to blow up the bar. The caller then hung up the phone.
An employee at Twisted Rooster contacted law enforcement and an explosive ordinance team was sent to the location. The business was found to be secure and nothing suspicious was located.
“I was really glad it turned out to just be a hoax,” says Melbourne resident Michele Johnston. “After Pulse I wouldn’t want any other family to go through what those families went through.”
Johnston had been passing by Twisted Rooster when the explosive ordinance team arrived. She says that there were police everywhere and they were blocking all entrances to the parking lot.
“I am also glad that they found the man responsible,” Johnston says. “People need to know this isn’t a joke. If you want to play around there are consequences to your actions.”
“My first reaction was ‘Is this real?’,” says Jimit Kapadia, owner of Twisted Rooster. “The images from Pulse flashed in my eyes when I heard from the general manager what was happening.” Kapadia has a golden heart hung on the wall at Twisted Rooster dedicated to the victims of the Pulse tragedy.
After searching the building, the police department declared the Twisted Rooster secure. “West Melbourne police were so wonderful,” says Kapadia. “They knew we were having an event and told us they have the suspect in custody. They wanted us to be safe and enjoy our evening.”
West Melbourne Police detectives worked hand-in-hand with the local phone company to trace the blocked caller to a resident located in Melbourne. After tracking him, Goodwin told West Melbourne officers that he and several friends were making prank calls to local businesses, according to the police report.
Goodwin was arrested for making a false report of a bomb and turned over to the Brevard County Jail on a $5,000 bond. Goodwin’s court date is set for Feb. 28.
Twisted Rooster addressed the incident on Facebook after Goodwin’s arrest.
“It is 2019 and we still are appalled at this kind of behavior from our community. Twisted Rooster was one of the local businesses who received this threat,” the bar wrote. “We acted upon it ASAP!!! We will not tolerate any kind of hate crime and it stops here!!! Kudos to our West Melbourne PD who responded to this within minutes and had the situation under control. Thank you to Bright House for helping us trace our call we received and thank you to our brave staff and GM to act on it professionally and putting a stop to this. This is YOUR place and OUR community!!!”
Kapadia opened Twisted Rooster in Nov. 2018 to bring the community together, he says. The bar opened back up that night after the incident with performer Ivy Vixens. The event drew more than 100 people into the bar.
“I’m not going to allow this in my place,” says Kapadia. “This is not going to affect us, we are going to dance our tail feathers off and grow this community. We love us.”