Man beaten at Volusia wedding reception; police take 2 into custody

Victim left with serious injuries

Two men accused of severely beating another man at a wedding reception in Lake Helen last weekend were taken into custody Friday night, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Joel O’Grady, 38, and Julian Falkinburg, 21, both of Sanford, were sought by law enforcement after deputies said the men got into a fight with the victim in the parking lot of the party Saturday night. Both were taken into custody by Daytona Beach police, the sheriff’s office said.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Two men accused of severely beating another man at a wedding reception in Lake Helen last weekend were taken into custody Friday night, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Joel O’Grady, 38, and Julian Falkinburg, 21, both of Sanford, were sought by law enforcement after deputies said the men got into a fight with the victim in the parking lot of the party Saturday night. Both were taken into custody by Daytona Beach police, the sheriff’s office said.

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Deputies said the victim was struck in the head and face several times and continued to be kicked even after he fell unconscious. The victim was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

“This isn’t like a punch. This is: the guy goes down, and then you stomp on him until he’s unconscious,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. “This could have easily been a murder.”

According to the victim’s attorney, Sara Howeller, the victim suffered damage to his face and nose. She said he also had extensive dental damage and a concussion.

Joel O'Grady (left) and Julian Falkinburg are accused of a severely beating a man at a wedding reception in Lake Helen. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

At this point, it’s not clear what started the initial argument.

“There is some family history,” Howeller said. “The families know each other and have known each other for a good amount of time.”

Both men were taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail and booked early Saturday, deputies said. O’Grady has since been released on $100,000 bond and Falkinburg was released Saturday afternoon upon posting $50,000 bond, deputies said. Both were instructed not to contact the victim as a condition of their release.

A GoFundMe was set up to support the victim.


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Clarification:

The video at the top of this story aired before Volusia deputies announced O'Grady and Falkinburg had been taken into custody.


About the Authors:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.