Dec 28, 2011

Putnam Den "assault": the real story

From the report, one gets the impression that the early Saturday morning incident at downtown Saratoga's rock venue The Putnam Den is yet another example of the Wild West / Free For All setting down in the Spa City's nightlife district. Another day, another brawl; with someone ending up either dead or seriously injured. To make matters worse, this most recent incident was an example of a Bouncer Gone Mad scenario.

That is if you believe what the Saratogian newspaper has reported. The lead word in their headline is FIGHT. Flashbacks of the massive brawl at the now-shuttered Shadow Lounge come to mind. Readers' comments are flowing-in, most in a "shut the Den down, too!" spirit.

Well, Nanoburgh? has a different take to report on this mess. Although we are not in the "scoop journalism" business, we'll run with this one anyways -- if for no other reason than to mark a line in the sand whereby the Saratogian can once again be pointed-out as holding the title of Upstate New York's Worst Newspaper.

Here's what we hear from two reliable sources (now don't we sound like an old school paper ourselves here?)that were there:

* There was no "fight"

* Instead, there WAS an extremely intoxicated young man on the scene, as demonstrated by his inability to stand on his own two feet as well as a propensity to keep dropping his cell phone.

* On at least two occasions, this young man was refused entrance/service in the venue. But he persisted in that quest, nonetheless.

* On a third attempt, he was "escorted" from the venue by a Security Guard. During that process, the young man was "picked up" by the Guard in some manner, whereby his feet briefly left the ground during the "walk". I think we can all make a mental picture here.

* Once the pair reached a final destination outside the immediate entrance area, the Guard placed the young man back on his feet, turned his back and returned to his duty station.

* The young man reportedly (again) lost his balance after being returned to his feet, fell, and struck his head in some manner. He suffered a serious injury as a result and remained motionless on the scene until police and medical assistance arrived.

* Police eventually arrested the bouncer on an assault charge.

So what have we here?

- We do know that someone got hurt. On that we all agree.

- We also know that the police investigators -- in their initial investigation -- feel that the Guard (bouncer) acted inappropriately in his role, and used some sort of unnecessary force in his attempt to rule the young man away from the establishment's premises.

- But: we also now know that the Putnam Den had at least one Video Camera capturing the sequence of events. Furthermore, we know that the ownership of the Putnam Den is anxious (we dare say: hyper-anxious)to share that video with the police. It is assumed that they have done so by the time we are writing here. Roll that tape!

- While the Guard's conduct will be then revealed, we can state that the venue "did the right thing" up until that point in time: it refused service to an inebriated individual.

- In addition, there is a report that the Guard had not completed the SLA-required "Bouncer School" training that is required of certain employees of licensed establishments. We do not know if this is the case. That question might become a bit more complicated, given that we have also learned that the individual was not an actual employee of the venue. One has heard the term Rent A Cop (which would assume a third=party provider), but this is something we can not confirm.

The prediction here is that the charges against the guard will either be outright dropped or drastically reduced. We also predict the venue will get some sort of slap from SLA, but not of the license-yanking variety.

But: the Saratogian got it wrong with their headline. That, you can take to the bank.



Anonymous said...

Still, the new incoming Dentist turned Czar will use this event to call up an army of storm troopers to patrol the area.

Not to mention, all the do-gooder whiners will again start bellowing about a 2AM curfew.

The fact that this happened at 1:30 won;t matter to them.

Anonymous said...

U Da Man
But U Knew Dat

Anonymous said...

This will also be used to (again) raise the ridiculous issue of licensing bartenders in Saratoga. Great story, got the link from JT.

HK said...

The truth always seeme to be someplace in the middle, does it not?

Nanoburgh? said...

As a follow-up to the numerous off-line, incoming comments on this matter:

Our most sincere wish for an outcome is that the injured young man makes a full and complete recovery.

We've all had variations on 'bad', 'stupid' or 'embarassing' days in our lives, especially in our younger days. We hope that both of the principals involved in this unfortunate event have a preponderance of better days ahead of them.

We do not wish to be perceived as being unabashed defenders of the Bouncer/Guard in this matter. We do not know the exact amount of foce he used to remove the young man form the venue.

At the same time, we do not know to what extend the victim's alleged intoxication played in the dynamics of his suffering the injury. Hopefully, those questions will be answered, either by clear-headed eyewitnesses, video surveillance, or both.

But we stand by the "there was no fight" apect of this post.