i’ve noticed a recent outburst of unneccessary excessive force by bouncers at dc lounges and nightclubs. over the last few months, more than once has a bouncer seem to cross the line. club managers need to realize what their staff is doing and address it appropriately. bouncers need to be trained, just as in any other trade-like profession. they have a lot of power and control, and in untrained hands, can abuse it.
i realize “bouncing” is a tough and dangerous job, but when you’re a bouncer who is usually larger and stronger in physical nature than your patrons, violence and physical action should be a last resort. i’ve seen situations where a good bouncer will calmly talk to a unruly person and either calm them down, or escort them civilly out the door.
on the other hand, i’ve seen situations where bouncers go too far. at vida lounge, the upstairs fills up and the line is usually guarded. now mind you, it’s lame location (topic for another entry), but of course people gravitate to where the illusion of a good time is. anyway, one person was on the stairs at the front of the line. he was trying to sneak by the bouncer (but doesn’t everyone?), at which point, the bouncer, brian, grabbed the person by the neck and proceeded to push him down to the ground. luckily this patron was smart enough to drop his hands to the side and not struggle. he realized he needed to de-escalate the situation — something the bouncer should have thought of first.
an even more outrageous incident happened at pearl lounge in dc. a group was escorting a somewhat drunken member of their party outside to sober him up and go home. the bouncer seemed to want to provoke the patron by beginning to drag him out the door. a fight ensued w/ fists flying and bouncers dragging people on the ground. fortunately, someone had the sense to call the dc police. the actions of bouncers were out of hand and only with police protection could the public be ensured safety. five police cars showed up to get the bouncers to back down and the police then made a sweep of the lounge to make sure things were clear.
during the altercation, neither the pearl lounge management, staff nor hosts made an attempt to alleviate the situation. they should have been the ones to either call the police or back down their own employees. i had been to pearl for many events, even back when it was murali’s, and i’m adamant in saying that is the last time i or my friends ever go there.
please feel free to share any situations you’ve experienced. i also encourage you to 1) contact the establishment’s management 2) post wide and far on washington post or aol city guide event reviews 3) get legal counsel if necessary.