In shocking news out of Flagler Beach Thursday, the owner of the popular Dessert Bar restaurant was arrested for making death threats to a former employee over text message. Daniel Catalan, 41, is in the county jail with no bond. He is being held on charges of writing and sending a threat to murder.
Prior to Catalan’s Thursday arrest, he was already familiar to Flagler police. The business owner’s priors include domestic battery, assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, and resisting arrest.
Prior to being arrested, Catalan was said to have spotted the victim near the 7-Eleven in Flagler Beach. From his vehicle, the victim stated that Catalan began shouting threats to the victim, and used racial slurs (the victim is a 39 year-old black man). He then was said to have brandished a foot-long knife and showed the victim a previously concealed firearm. As the story was recounted, the victim then hid in the trees until it was safe, and went into the 7-Eleven to contact the police.
Having been fired and trespassed the day before and apparently punched in the face, it’s safe to say the victim was breathing a sigh of relief when Catalan was taken into custody soon thereafter.
In the lead-up to the tense encounter, Catalan repeatedly texted the victim inflammatory and threatening messages, which wound up being the basis of his arrest. Some of the objectionable texts included flatly telling the victim “if I see you I murder u”, addressing him as “your black a**”, threatening to “get rid of you”, and a threat to dump the victim in a canal. According to police, a great number of Catalan’s aggressive text messages to the victim were racist.
As of Friday, the Dessert Bar’s Facebook page was taken down. The status of the restaurant going forward is currently unknown.