Man Allegedly Became Irate When Seated Next to Gay Couple, Then Assaulted Woman Who Told Him to 'Drop the Subject'

Alexander Nicholas Fanjul allegedly assaulted his dinner companion and smashed her phone when she allegedly said she would call the police, per authorities

<p>Palm Beach Police Department</p> Alexander Nicholas Fanjul

Palm Beach Police Department

Alexander Nicholas Fanjul

• Alexander Nicholas Fanjul was allegedly upset after being seated next to a gay couple at a restaurant, police say
• After his dinner companion asked him to "drop the subject," he allegedly beat her outside his home, per authorities
• Fanjul, 38, has family to Florida Crystals, one of the largest sugar producers in the country

A Florida man whose family reportedly founded the Florida Crystals sugar company allegedly assaulted a woman during an argument that began because he was upset over sitting next to a gay couple at a restaurant, say police.

Alexander Nicholas Fanjul, 38, was arrested on Jan. 28 after police responded to an alleged domestic violence incident in his Palm Beach, Fla., residence, according to a probable cause affidavit reviewed by PEOPLE.

An officer responding to a noise complaint found Fanjul allegedly standing over the woman who lay on the floor in a “defensive ‘fetal’ position,” the affidavit claims.

The alleged assault stemmed from a dinner earlier in the evening when Fanjul and the woman were at a restaurant, per the affidavit. Fanjul was allegedly angry about being seated next to a gay couple at the restaurant.

He allegedly became “increasingly irate” and expressed his feelings to the woman, police say. He continued to express his anger after the two returned to his residence, the affidavit claims.

As they were in the front yard of the house, the woman allegedly asked him to “drop the subject,” per the affidavit. In response, Fanjul allegedly began punching and kneeing her in the face, according to the affidavit.

Fanjul then allegedly grabbed her purse, per the affidavit. When the woman said she would call the police, he allegedly took her hand, which was gripping a phone, and drove it into the ground, causing the phone to shatter. He then removed the phone from the woman's hand, she alleged, according to the affidavit.

When the woman began screaming for help, Fanjul allegedly threw her to the ground and dragged her inside the home, rendering it impossible for her to escape or get help, she alleged, per the affidavit.

Once inside, Fanjul allegedly choked her, which she said made it “extremely difficult” for her to breathe, the affidavit states.

There were drops of blood in the home and the furniture was in disarray, the responding officer also noted in the affidavit.

After police detained Fanjul, the woman told the officer that she was afraid she would die, the affidavit states.

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Fanjul has been identified by The Palm Beach Post as the son of Alexander Fanjul Sr., a director and senior vice president of Florida Crystals, one of the largest sugar producers in the country, according to the outlet. The Fanjul family has been in the sugar business since the 1850s, according to the company's website.

He has now been charged with domestic violence by strangulation, false imprisonment, robbery, harassing a victim and cocaine possession among other charges, according to court records reviewed by PEOPLE.

Plea information was not available in online court records. His lawyer Douglas Duncan declined to comment when contacted on Monday.

He has been issued an order of no contact against the witness. His collective bond from all charges was set at $180,000, per online court records.

He was released on Jan. 30 on bond, according to jail records.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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