This post was originally published on the Nevada Cop Block website and while it doesn’t specifically deal with abuses by police as Cop Block commonly does, it details an unwarranted and unnecessary assault on a man by security guards working for Insert Coin(s), a bar/nightclub located on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. This assault reportedly occurred outside the property on a public sidewalk, was instigated by the bouncers, and continued for at least a minute (on video), even after the person being assaulted was knocked to the ground, being held by three bouncers, and not resisting in any way.
In addition, another bouncer attempted to prevent a witness from filming the incident and a fifth bouncer, who actually worked for (but has now been fired from: see updates below) a different nearby bar, broke that witness’ phone and also allegedly assaulted him. Finally, the LVMPD officer that eventually showed up refused to talk to the witness or accept his video as evidence, instead telling him to “get the fuck out of here!”
Date of Incident: February 12th, 2015
Individuals Involved: At least three as yet unidentified bouncers employed by Insert Coin(s), a bar on Fremont St. in Las Vegas. We do know the first name of the one assaulting and then choking the victim while he is lying on the ground is named Jeff, because you can hear the other bouncers yelling for him to stop. Another unnamed individual employed by the Vanguard lounge, located next door to Insert Coin(s), who attempted to obstruct the witness from filming. A fifth unnamed bouncer, who worked for the Griffin, located across the street from Insert Coin(s), and who was the individual that broke the witnesses phone and then assaulted him has now been fired (as of February 17 – see updates at bottom of post).
In addition, the owner of Insert Coin(s), Chris Laporte has personally stated (see updates at bottom of post) that he supports the actions of the bouncers and refuses to take any action against them. Finally, at least one unidentified member of the LVMPD, who responded to the incident, refused to speak with the witness or accept any evidence from him, included the video embedded within this post and instead arrested the man that had been assaulted.
Business Employing those Involved: Insert Coin(s) Las Vegas
Phone: (702) 477-2525
Facebook Page: Insert Coin(s) on Facebook
Twitter Account: Insert Coins on Twitter
Email: “Contact Us” form
Yelp Review Profile: Insert Coin(s) on Yelp
Owner’s Twitter Account: Chris LaPorte on Twitter
Owner’s Facebook Page: Chris LaPorte on Facebook
Police Outfit Involved: Las Vegas (NV) Metropolitan Police Department
Phone: (800) 492-6565/ (702) 828-3111 – Internal Affairs: (702) 828-3422
Facebook Page: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. on FaceBook
Twitter Account: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. on Twitter
Area Cop Block Affiliate: Nevada Cop Block covers all of Nevada, but is based in Las Vegas and primarily covers Southern NV. Another affiliate, Reno Cop Block is located in Northern Nevada and primarily covers issues in the Reno area. In addition, if you live outside Nevada, you can find the appropriate affiliate in your area by consulting the Cop Block Groups page or Start a Group yourself if there isn’t one already in your area.
Details of Incident
This video, which was just posted on Stephen Stubbs’ YouTube channel, was received via the NVCopBlock.org post submission page. As is detailed in the video description (quoted below) on YouTube, this shows security guards employed by “Insert Coins,” a bar on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, unnecessarily beating a man on the sidewalk in front of the business.
This is a developing story and there have been several updates and new developements, since it was originally posted. Those updates have been (and will continue to be) added at the bottom, below the video.
Although public sidewalks aren’t actually owned by the private businesses near them (there does seem to be some confusion about that throughout Las Vegas), the video doesn’t show what happened right before the security guards assault the man. So, without arguing about the validity of their initial actions (even though I’ve been told that the bouncers instigated the incident – see updates below the post), once the man is down he is clearly not a threat to four large bouncers, while already restrained on the ground. There’s no reason whatsoever to continue choking and hitting someone in that situation.
What’s even more telling is the fact that another security guard (who works for the Vanguard Lounge, next door) realizes someone is filming and does his best to obscure what is happening as they continue beating the man for almost a full minute on the video. Beyond that, we don’t actually know what happens to the man being attacked or for exactly how long. That’s because a different security guard from the
Beauty Bar Griffin (see updates below for explanation of correction), another bar located on Fremont St, comes across the street, steals and then breaks the witness’ phone, and reportedly assaults him, as well.
Furthermore, the witness states that he waited for the police to show up in order to provide evidence of what happened. Instead of conducting an investigation and talking with a potential witness, the Metro officer that responded ordered him to “Get the f@!! out of here.” In theory, cops themselves are supposed to be impartial mediators that gather evidence and determine if there is sufficient cause to believe a crime may have been committed not someone that personally decides the guilt or innocence of those involved in a dispute. Turning away an independent witness with video evidence of exactly what transpired and who himself may have been assaulted by someone involved with the incident shows a clear bias and lack of any desire to act as such.
From the YouTube video description:
On the evening of February 12, 2015, A man (who appeared to be homeless and/or under the influence of drugs/alcohol) was dancing on the sidewalk in front of Insert Coins on Fremont Street.
Security guards were yelling at him to leave and the dancing man ignored them (continued dancing). When the Security guards taunted the dancing man to attack them, my client (who does not wish to come forward with his identity) took out his phone and started recording.
A security guard attacked the dancing man, beat him up and continued to choke and beat him even after he was lying motionless on the ground. A plain closed security guard tried to obstruct my client from videotaping the incident and even physically pushed him away.
A security guard from the Beauty Bar on Fremont then crossed the street, attacked my client, grabbed his phone and smashed it on the ground (destroying it).
My client waited for the police, tried to make a statement and told LVMPD that he had video. A LVMPD Officer ordered him to “Get the f@!! out of here. This doesn’t concern you”. My client left (fearing that he would be arrested) and contacted me.
**UPDATES AND CORRECTION**
There are several updates to this post since it was originally written:
First, it has been determined that while the bouncer (who shows up at the very end of the video) responsible for breaking the witnesses phone and allegedly assaulting him did come from the direction of the Beauty Bar, he actually works for the Griffin, which is next door to the Beauty Bar and directly across the street from Insert Coins. That has been corrected within the original post.
Second, the Owner of Insert Coins, Chris LaPorte, has issued several statements, via Facebook and Twitter, responding to the incident. They’re pretty bad in general and even embarrassingly so, in the case of the one on Twitter. In response to a tweet by SNWatchdogs (an awesome local group that, as the name implies, works to expose corruption) including a link to the video, using the Insert Coins account he states that people shouldn’t “believe what you see,” because apparently the “whole story” is somehow going to counteract what everyone can, in fact, pretty clearly see on the video. Regardless of what might have happened just prior, once someone is down on the ground and not fighting or resisting in any way beating and choking them isn’t justified:
The Facebook post is more along the lines of I support my guys, Stephen Stubbs is a dirty liar and I have video that shows they did nothing wrong while beating that guy that was lying on the ground defenseless, then interfering with a witness who was well within his rights to record what was happening, and it’s rude to point:
I would like to point out to those questioning my security staff’s professionalism at Insert Coin(s) that any allegation of wrong doing is inherently false and while a video is floating around the internet about a violent takedown by way of a Stephen Stubbs it can easily be proved misleading with surveillance camera footage currently being reviewed by Metro. I stand by my staff and ask those to think twice before pointing fingers at my team. Thank you. – Chris LaPorte via Facebook
Finally, Stephen Stubbs posted this statement as an update to Facebook after meeting with Chris LaPorte and viewing this magical video (which includes the clarification of the identity of the bouncer responsible for breaking the witness’ phone). Apparently, after watching the video and getting the “whole story,” he still believes what he saw:
On the evening of February 14, 2015, I met with Chris [owner of Insert Coin(s)] at his establishment. We went upstairs and he showed me the security footage. It was clear from the video that the Insert Coin(s) security guard instigated the physical contact on the public sidewalk. The security guard push the homeless man, pushed him again, and then shoved him violently to the ground.
The security guard had a tiny 1/8 inch scratch under his eye (I saw the picture) and he claims the tiny scratch is the result of the homeless man punching him (again, the security camera doesn’t show that punch).
Also, the security guard that assaulted the cameraman and destroyed his phone works for The Griffin on Fremont Street (he approached from in front of the Beauty Bar but is in no way connected to the Beauty Bar).
Last night (February 16, 2015), members of Nevada Cop Block and SNWatchdogs staged a public protest, which included chalking and making the video available for passersby to view, on Fremont Street in front of Insert Coin(s) and the Griffin to bring attention to this incident. Below are some pictures from the protest (click the thumbnails for full size):
Bouncer Who Broke Phone Fired by the Griffin
The next day (February 17 2015), I received information that the Griffin had contacted Stephen Stubbs, who is representing the man whose phone was broken while he filmed the incident. They stated that they had fired the bouncer that broke the phone and that they also would be replacing the damaged phone (via Stephen Stubbs’ FaceBook page):
Update on the unfortunate February 12, 2015 incident in front of Insert Coins:
I just received a call from The Griffin Bar. The security staff member that left his station and destroyed the cell phone of the person taking the video has been fired for violating policy. The Griffin Bar made it clear that his actions do not represent what they stand for, and they took care of the situation. The Griffin Bar is also replacing the destroyed phone.
As far as I’m concerned, The Griffin Bar has done everything that they could do to make up for the situation. Their staff did not participate in the beating and I am glad that they stepped up to take care of things. I consider the matter against The Griffin Bar to be closed.
Please like and share to spread the word. I think they should get props for this. No bar can 100% control their employees and they acted swiftly.
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