We're told Columbus accused the guard of racism, but the guard fired back, he was also black. A scuffle between the 2 ensued.
We're told several off duty Dallas cops -- who work at the bar on weekends -- broke up the fight but the fired "Scandal" star was still hotter than fish grease.
We're told Columbus started screaming at the cops and tried attacking them. As one source at the bar put it, "He was like a dog with a bone who wouldn't let it go."
The cops then did what cops do -- they arrested Short, but not for assault ... for public intoxication.
Short was taken to jail.
It's not his first bar fight. TMZ broke the story Short was arrested over a bar fight earlier this year, when he cold-cocked a guy and knocked him out. He's also been arrested twice for domestic violence.