Update: We received a phone call from Mr. Downes’ grandmother (as well as a Facebook comment – see bottom of article). In the call she informed us that we have no right to publish such an article (First Amendment be damned) and that her grandson is a sweet kid. She also admitted that he was involved in the fight described in the affidavit, though she disputes some of the facts and had all kinds of negative things to say about the alleged victim and the witness. She then threatened to sue us, saying: “You’ll find out how much money you have.” Nice family.
Events at a West Palm Beach party in September has “Sean Downs” facing felony battery charges and his alleged victim left with permanent facial scarring and disfigurement. The Sheriff’s records indicate this Mr. Downs is a resident of The Oaks, a gated community on the north side of Clint Moore. As best we can tell this is actually Sean D. Downes. If we are correct (we’re pretty sure but you can never be positive), his father Sean P. Downes is CEO of Universal Holdings, Inc. who received an eye-popping $9.4 million last year in executive compensation according to BusinessWeek at only 44 years old.
According to the probable cause affidavit (full document at bottom), the younger Downes was at a house party with a bunch of teens, running around looking for a fight. When the victim was leaving Downes confronted him to start a fight. The victim turned to leave and Downes then hit the victim in the left temple, knocking him out and to the ground. While the victim was unconscious on the ground, Downes continued punching him as many as ten times.
The victim woke up in the ER, had suffered four large bruises on his face, multiple cuts on the left side of his mouth requiring sutures and likely to leave substantial and permanent scars, and an additional injury on the back of his head where it hit the pavement.
West Palm Beach police referred the matter to the State Attorney, who waited over 3 months before filing this case in court in early January. Mr. Downes was booked Wednesday morning, minutes before his “first appearance” court session began and released a few hours later on $3000 bond. The timing suggests that he may have been represented by an attorney who surrendered him at the right time to make sure things moved smoothly. Court records do not yet indicate any attorney appearance, nor how the bond was posted.
The home address for the younger Downs listed in the blotter is owned by Lori Downes, who is divorced from the father. The 7-bedroom, 7000 square-foot house was purchased for $1.4M in 2013. The date of birth for the arrested Sean Downs matches this Sun-Sentinel article showing his birth in 1996 to parents Sean and Lori Downes.
A couple years ago Downes was an avid basketball player with the St. Thomas Aquinas school in Fort Lauderdale.
It’s unclear why but he’s no longer on the team roster. As always, anyone arrested is innocent until proven guilty.
Update: We found a highlight film from Downes’ freshman year on the St. Andrews varsity basketball team.
The full probable cause affidavit is below.
The Facebook comment thread with the grandmother’s remarks is below: