Harlem Shake video at Florida Subway restaurant turns sour; dancer sues franchise in defamation suit
Man says was threatened by company employee
Last Updated: 210 days ago
A South Florida Subway franchise is being sued after a recent filming of the "Harlem Shake" dance rendition went wrong inside one of its stores.
According to the lawsuit, employees of the Timesaver Food Stores Co. Subway in South Bay invited several friends to film the "Harlem Shake" inside the store on 195 U.S. 27 on the outskirts of Belle Glade.
But when one of the people in the video uploaded it to Youtube.com, they claimed to have been harassed and threatened by the vice president of the franchise, Michael Gazzalla.
"It has been embarrassing because people around the community look at me as if, if I'm a criminal," said Orlando Guapo, the man who is suing the Subway franchise.
Guapo said after he refused to take the video down, he started seeing "wanted" signs posted all over town.
The signs featured a picture of Guapo with the word "ATTENTION!" on the top of the poster. Below it read, "If you see this person on our premises please call the authorities! He is trespassing and not allowed to be here. Thanks you for your help, management."
Guapo said he did not want to take the video down because he said he did not break any laws, steal anything or break anything.
The 22-year-old, who is in his senior year at the University of South Florida, said since he fears his reputation is being ruined, he is suing on the grounds of defamation.
"There's no booth for Orlando to go up to and say, 'I want my good name back,'" said James Spitz, the attorney for Guapo.
Emails and phone calls to Timesaver Food Stores were not returned when comment was requested from the company.
When visited at his Port St. Lucie home, Michael Gazzalla, the franchise vice president named in the lawsuit, said he was aware of the lawsuit and did not want to comment.
No date for a trial has been set.
According to court records at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, a legal response has not been filed on behalf of Timesaver Food Stores, the Subway franchise company.
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