Man claims he was assaulted by bouncers at Newport's Hofbräuhaus

By Dan Wells – bio | email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - A Burlington man is claiming he was assaulted by bouncers at Newport's Hofbräuhaus while patronizing the business.

That man now plans to file a lawsuit against the bar and it's employees.

Bob Amicone, a local attorney, says the situation started late Sunday evening. Amicone says he and his wife were exiting the restaurant when bouncers demanded to search his wife's purse.

Amicone says there was no policy posted that explained what the restaurant told FOX19 is a routine procedure to the prevent theft of beer steins and shot glasses.

The restaurant says the policy is posted during peak business hours.

"If we choose not to abide by that policy, there are several actions that a merchant can take, they can not invite us back, they can ask us to leave or if in fact they think that we stole something, which they didn't think in this case, they could have called the police or asked us, they did none of those things" said Amicone.

Patrons at the restaurant captured video of what happened next between the couple and Hofbräuhaus bouncers.

The following conversation can be heard on the video:

Bouncer: "You tried to run out without letting me check."

Kelly (wife of victim): "Please call the police."

Bouncer: "He won't let me check it."

Bouncer: "I don't know what he has, listen, it's pretty simple, it's our policy, it's posted."

Bob Amicone: Inaudible

Bouncer: "I don't care what you say it's private property really."

"I said we didn't do anything wrong we're leaving the door was accessible so I said I'm leaving and I walked through the door when I walked through the door there are steps about five feet out, I got down about one or two steps when I felt a hand pull me from behind and I was yanked back and my head hit the concrete, I saw a white flash and before I knew it the security guard who was talking to me was on top of me and he was chocking me" said Amicone.

According to the Newport Police Incident Report: "Suspect 1 stated he asked complainant to stop but complainant refused so Suspect 1 grabbed the complainants coat then took him to the ground and held him until other security arrived."

Amicone says he suffered a concussion from the incident, requiring medical care at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

"I never struck at him, I never swung at him but he continued to choke me for what seemed to be five to ten minutes." said Amicone.

Hofbräuhaus issued this statement today in regards to the incident:

"The HBH has the right to set its policies as a private business. In the same way that most retailers have a policy that asks customers to show their receipts upon exiting a store, and NFL and MLB teams have in place to screen bags, we have a policy in place that permits security to look into bags and purses upon exiting our establishment. These policies are in place to combat losses from theft, to protect other guests, and to comply with Kentucky liquor laws which do not permit alcoholic beverages being brought into and taken out of a liquor license holder's business.

The policies of the HBH are clear to our patrons, are posted at the door and are applied fairly. It should have come as no surprise to Mr. Amicone that a member of his party was asked to open her bag. The couple refused to comply, became unruly, the situation escalated, and HBH security called the police. Mr. Amicone had no right to object to the search because it was not his purse. The doormen of the HBH are the most visible aspect of security, and they shoulder the responsibility of enforcing the house rules and monitoring the crowd. Our security guards are hired and trained by an experienced and reputable professional security consulting firm, and have at least 10 years of service.

During any given weekend the HBH sees close to 5,000 guests, and the vast majority of our guests have an enjoyable, peaceful time. However, the HBH is cooperating with authorities and the member of security involved has been suspended while the incident is reviewed."

Bob Amicone plans to file a lawsuit against Hofbräuhaus and its employees in coming days.

Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.