A commercial truck driver from a coastal town some 30 miles north of Daytona Beach, Fla., claims he was tasered in the back by bouncers at Fuel Bar and Night Club on Second Avenue late last year, according to court documents filed on his behalf.
It is the latest in a string of civil suits filed by Nashville bar and club patrons who say they’ve been the victims of excessive force wielded by hired security personnel.
According to reports, in November 2008, Paul Anderson of Palm Coast, Fla. was enjoying an overnight stopover in Nashville, mandated by commercial trucking regulation to prevent accidents. He and a co-worker ventured downtown to Fuel Bar and Night Club.
According to the complaint, a scuffle broke out, prompting management to order everyone to leave immediately. As Anderson and his colleague stepped out onto Second Avenue, he realized he left his belongings, including a cell phone, in the bar. He told bar staff his property was still inside, and most of it was returned to him quickly -- except, the filing says, his cell phone.
“After further attempts to recover his phone he went to the front of the establishment and encountered several guards employed by Eagle Eye Security,” the complaint says. “The security guards were armed with tasers and already had them drawn.”
A phone listing for Eagle Eye Security, a subsidiary of AAA 24-Hour Bail Bonds Inc., has been disconnected. Messages The City Paper left at Fuel Bar and Night Club were unreturned.
Anderson attempted to explain why he needed to get back inside, the filing says, and was tasered “without provocation.” Metro Police said the security guards told officers that Anderson had made a move toward them that they deemed threatening.
In a panic, Anderson turned and fled, and was allegedly tasered again in the back. He fell to the ground, court documents say, injuring his knee. Anderson's attorney Hugh Garrett says the fall tore a tendon from on his knee cap — an injury that required reconstructive surgery. As a result, Garrett says Anderson was unable to operate a semi-truck and lost his job.
“He’s still experiencing pain, still experiencing problems,” Garrett said. “He has suffered financially from it a great deal. As you know, finding a job in this market is difficult.”
Anderson is asking for $10,000 in lost wages, pain and suffering.
Metro Police cited Anderson for disorderly conduct on the night of the incident.
The string of alleged incidents at bars along Music Row, Lower Broad and elsewhere downtown this year are a bit surprising for a tourist destination with a distinctly Southern charm.
The owners of Music Row watering hole Tin Roof filed suit against attorney Brian Manookian for a Facebook update that said anyone who would “want to get raped/assaulted/or watch someone commit suicide” need only go to the establishment, according to the Nashville Post. Indeed, Manookian pulled a Metro Police report listing a number of assaults, one forcible rape and one suicide at Tin Roof.
Manookian represents a man from Dallas who claims he was beaten by Tin Roof bar manager Wesley Stephens in March.
There is also the alleged beating of two costumed partygoers by a bouncer at Cadillac Ranch in February, resulting in a cracked skull. An Alabama tourist allegedly had his teeth punched out by two Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge bouncers across the street from the bar in May.