The guest seen on surveillance video rushing to a receptionist at a Fort Lauderdale hotel could face more than just a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
Jason Russell Rabe, 38, was told in court on Friday that he must hire a private attorney to represent him in case prosecutors file criminal charges for the confrontation with Raymond Rachel at a Best Western hotel on January 19.
“The state tells me that they are potentially filing a new case with enhanced charges related to alleged head-banging and things of that nature,” Broward Circuit Judge John Fry said.
Jason Russell Rabe has been charged with trespassing in the Jan. 19 fight with a Best Western hotel employee.
Lobby security cameras recorded Rabe going behind reception and struggling with employee Rachel who pinned Rabe to the floor.
Fort Lauderdale police responded soon after and arrested Rachel. The charges were later dropped when it was determined that Rabe was the alleged instigator and Rachel was defending herself.
Two Fort Lauderdale officers were under investigation for their treatment of Rachel.
Rabe had pleaded not guilty to the trespassing charge and received a public defender at a previous hearing, but Judge Fry noted that Rabe – a race car driver – had sufficient assets and an annual salary $60,000 to pay for a lawyer. .
“You make too much money,” Fry said. “So you are not eligible for free or reduced cost legal representation.”
Rabe had several choices, including changing his plea in two weeks or returning to court with his lawyer in three weeks.
“Third option,” Rabe said. “So that gives me time to find a lawyer.”
He was also told not to return to the Best Western hotel where the confrontation took place.