Diana, her boyfriend Heyson and their Colombian friends were planning to celebrate Colombian independence at a cool event by the pool in Sliema when all hell broke loose.
Within a few hours, her group had been kicked out of Medasia Playa, some of them beaten and bloodied by an off-duty police officer and staff and her influencer dog had been lost in the chaos that ensued.
Lovin Malta has reached out to Medasia, who have categorically denied this version of events. You can read their reaction to the incident here.
“We had booked three tables and been promised a night of dancing, fireworks and even traditional Colombian food like arepa,” Diana told Lovin Malta from their residence in Swieqi.
Seated beside her was her 31-year-old partner Heyson Fontecha, who works at Dr Juice, nursing a black eye and bruises and lacerations all over his head and face.
“Instead, we ended up staying up all night with Heyson in Mater Dei hospital covered in blood.”
According to Diana and her friends, her group had arrived at the club at around 8.30pm to find a large queue already forming.
They had pre-booked their tables – yet when they entered, they were informed there was no tables set aside for them.
Eventually, they were able to scrounge two tables together – but not before being denied any service or drinks until they sat down, as per COVID-19 regulations.
By the time they finally sat down and ordered their drinks, it was approaching 11pm – and that’s when the music was turned off and everyone was told to leave, starting from Diana’s table, which was nearest the entrance.
Diana says one woman in her group was physically pushed out by a security, leading to her boyfriend standing up and addressing the security. Things quickly escalated.
“At 11pm they stopped the music and told us, ‘you have to go, you have to go’. And we said – ‘how come, we barely sorted out our tables and drinks, and now we are getting kicked out, what did we pay the €10 tickets for?'”
“So they began pushing us, and pushed one girl completely out,” Diana recounted. “So her boyfriend went to complain, but then staff from the lido violently grabbed the girl by the neck and threw her out – that’s when we started recording.”
The group were split up, with some being kicked out and others still inside recording everything on their phones as things took a turn for the worse.
One friend, Yoliana, was also forced out, but realised she had left her Chihuahua Purumpi inside – so she went to the door to ask security to hand her dog over.
“They kicked me and my boyfriend out, but they left my dog inside, and by then everyone was standing up, and this big guy, who we later found out was an off-duty police officer, he went up to Heyson and put his arm around him,” Yoliana said.
Heyson tried to tell Yoliana he had the dog over the now-closed entrance door – but next thing he knew, he was being beaten by a large man who went as far as picking up a chair during the beatdown.
“We later found out this guy was an off-duty police officer.”
Some staff members confiscated at least one of their mobiles and began deleting footage of the incident, in another video shown to Lovin Malta.
Medasia have built a new fence around the lido following the incident on Tuesday, and maintain that the violence started after dozens of ticketless people attempted to storm the walls and enter the party.
Yoliana says this wasn’t the case, noting that the only time anyone approached the outer walls was after paying customers had been kicked out, and then it was to complain about being kicked out.
Fontecha, for his part, can be seen with a green entry wristband in photos after the incident.
31-year-old Heyson Fontecha was taken to Mater Dei afterwards, with his medical report saying: “he was allegedly hit with fists and a chair over the thorax, abdomen, legs and arms. Lost consciousness for about 1-2 minutes.”
After they left the club, Fontecha, covered in blood, approached police for help.
“But they just told us: ‘don’t you know it’s illegal to be there, there’s a €300 fine for staying after time?'”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Fontecha said he was “feeling bad, my legs and back hurt but the worst is my head and face, it hurts to eat and swallow.”
And when it comes to Purumpi the dog, Yoliana said she had to take him to see a vet as he was left so scared he wouldn’t walk.
“They told us the event was from 6.30am till 2am,” Diana lamented. “This was not true. We do not want any payment or money from them – but we want the truth of what happened that night to come out.”
Medasia have invited the Colombians to meet and work out what happened that evening, something they may do in the coming days. However, with one of their own left injured, they are wondering whether they can ever feel safe in a Maltese club again.
And when it comes to the off-duty officer who they believe attacked them, they intend to find out more about him and contact police authorities over his aggression towards them.
“No one should be allowed to attack women like that,” Diana ended. “And what if Fontecha had died during the beating? When we paid for everything and followed their rules… Who is in the wrong here?”
Have you been affected by this story or experienced something similar? Contact Lovin Malta in confidence by emailing [email protected]