Video of a man being punched by a bouncer near a famed West Hollywood nightclub made the social networking rounds this week. One of his captors appears to utter a homophobic slur at the victim, who tells them he is gay.
The violent take-down and beating of an apparently inebriated man by at least one guy who appears to be a bouncer at Santa Monica Boulevard and North Edinburgh Avenue is reported to have happened Feb. 25.
The location, outside the Laurel Pet Hospital, is fairly barren, but it's across the street from ...
... the famed Voyeur nightclub, a spot frequented by celebrities. It's usually hounded by deputies who set up outside on big nights. Feb. 25 was a Saturday, indicating this was fallout from a Friday night out.
The video was tweeted by Weho Daily last night.
The bald-headed bouncer guy and another man hold down the victim while one of them accuses him of instigating a fight. (Warning: Foul language).
"Look at my face man," the victim says, "-they fucked me up."
One of two men holding him down says: "Fuck your face. I don't give a shit about your face."
Victim: "Trust me please I didn't start the shit. I was with my boyfriend. I'm a gay boy."
Face down on the ground, he tries to look up at his captors. One of them says:
"Yeah well your a fuckin' [unintelligible] ... Stop fuckin' struggling motherfucker. "
At that point the victim receives what appear to be a pair of punches, one to his back and one to the back of his head, by the winner in black.
"Stop resisting," one of the men says. "Stay still motherfucker."
Then one of the captors unleashes this: "Stop fuckin' moving you cocksucker."
Just then a security guard with a badge walks up, and one of the captors says, "Hey can we get some cuffs please."
"Stay where you are motherfucker," the victim is told. "Shut up."
We'll put a call into Voyeur this morning to see if any of these heroes belong to them.
No one has the right to assault you. Police can do what it takes to control you if you disobey their lawful orders. But that applies to police.
Being a bouncer can be a tough gig, as we've surely witnessed. And, in many cases, they do a great job of keeping idiots from ruining a good time. But some of them get tough-guy complexes and need to spend some time in handcuffs themselves.
This seems to be one of those cases. What do you think?
[Update at 12:39 p.m.]: A manager at Voyeur got back to us, saying the bouncer wasn't theirs but rather an employee of Fubar, which is down the block. The manager said that the only role of the venue in the incident was that a sheriff's deputy hired by the club called 911.
"We're definitely involved in the community," the Voyeur manager said. "I don't want to see stuff like that in the news."
The bouncer did not fit the description of any of Voyeur's door staff, the manager said: But he did fit the description of an employee at Fubar. We have a call into that venue.
A sheriff's official, meanwhile, explained to us when and where a bouncer can use force. Basically, they're the same as you and I. They can hold you for cops if you've clearly done something wrong (a citizen's arrest, essentially) and they can defend themselves and others with force. But that's about it. They punch you, you can punch back.
The source says:
Speaking in general terms a bouncer is a citizen, so the rules of engagement as applies to a bouncer are the same as any other citizen. You can be reasonable to protect yourself and you as a citizen can affect an arrest for something that happens in your presence. If a bouncer is pounding on someone, he better have some justification for that. He can be held accountable for his actions both criminally and civilly.
He added that deputies stationed outside night spots are hired by the clubs for special events but have the full power of sworn law enforcement.
There you go. We have a call into the West Hollywood sheriff's brass to determine if this incident is under investigation.
[Update at 2:01 p.m.]: Det. Mike Berbiar of the West Hollywood sheriff's station says the person we've been calling the victim here was the only one arrested:
The man, identified as, Timothy Reyes, is alleged to have assaulted five people inside Fubar that night before he was taken out and taken to the ground.
As Berbiar understands it, the fighting started over a jacket that the suspect thought was his but apparently wasn't. Some of those assaulted included folks such as bar staff who tried to break up the fight, he said.
Reyes was cited on suspicion of battery and public intoxication and released, the detective told us.
The detective wasn't aware of the video or of the action of the bouncer, however, and said he "would definitely be interested in looking into it."
We'll keep you updated.
[Update at 11:54 a.m. Wednesday]: Jay Krymis, owner of Fubar, got back to us this morning. He said, "I was really upset and disturbed by the video."
The doorman, whom he called Brad, was an independent contractor who would not be coming back to work for the venue until they can figure out what happened, Krymis said:
It was not handled appropriately. It seemed a little excessive to me [added] when looking at the video by itself. I'm going to sit down with Brad to find out exactly what happened. We're actively involved in the community and we're the ones fighting against this find of stuff.
However, Krymis alleged, in a story similar to that of the cops,' that the patron allegedly assaulted four people, leaving them bloody, including Brad, a bartender and two other patrons. In one case he allegedly bit the bartender as he tried to escort him out, the owner said.
I don't know if Brad was in the heat of the moment and trying to prevent the guy from creating more damage. He did his job to subdue the guy but maybe he could have done without some of what we saw on video.
He noted that Fubar is a gay bar and that it has a mostly gay staff.