Last Saturday was not a good night. I was working the door again (Phil has me on the door to keep all of the thugs out). Scott was working the door with me. Before I begin telling you about the night, let me explain a few of our policies:
- Our dress code is no hats, doo-rags, jerseys, sweat suits, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, or baggy pants. As far as t-shirts go, it is a "grey area" (according to Phil) - basically they can't have a short-sleeved shirt with no collar.
- Our de-escalation policy involves having the bouncer that the customer is mad at -usually due to that bouncer telling the customer that they can't come into the club, they need to stop doing something they shouldn't be doing, or they need to leave the club - roll-back and let the other bouncers de-escalate the situation.
- There is no re-entry after 10:00 P.M. The guys working the door might occasionally make an exception but they are few and far between.
The night started to go bad when Phil told me that there was some people smoking pot on the other end of the parking lot. When I approached the truck these people were sitting in, they weren't smoking pot. I told them that there was no loitering so they needed to either come inside or take off. I continued to walk around the parking lot and saw a guy and a girl (I'll call them Jack and Jill) get out of their car. I saw that Jill had a bottle of beer. I explained that it was against the law to have beer in the parking lot and took her beer. I also noticed that Jack was wearing a baseball cap and a short-sleeved t-shirt. I told him that he would have to leave his hat in the car and get a different shirt. He told me that he was here with Jamie, who worked here and was inside. Jamie is a friend of Boogie. Boogie used to be a Bouncer there. Jamie did not work there. I told him that I worked the door and it was up to me, not Jamie. He started to walk away from me and called Jamie on his cell phone. I asked him a couple of times to quit walking away from me and listen to me. He ignored me so I told him that since he couldn't respect me then he couldn't come in the club. He said, "We'll see about that." We walked up front and Boogie, Jamie, and some of their friends were at the front door. Phil was also up there. Jack was telling Jamie what an a$$hole I was. I told both of them that Jack was not coming inside the club. Jamie tried to argue about it. I told Phil that he wasn't coming in because of his attitude. Jack and Jamie started to argue again. Following our de-escalation policy, Phil told me to get back on my post and he would handle it. Phil did not let Jack into the club.
As soon as I started checking I.D.s again Phil saw a guy walking up to the door with a beer bottle. He told him to take it back to the car. One of the guys that was with the guy with the beer bottle approached me. I recognized that he had already been in the club. I told him that there was no re-entry and explained that one of the reasons for no re-entry was because people go to their cars and drink beer. As I was telling him this I noticed a black guy (I'll call him Thug 1) was smirking at me telling this guy that he couldn't re-enter. Since Thug 1 was next in line, I decided to see if he had an attitude problem by asking him to confirm his address on his I.D. Sure enough, he did have an attitude problem. He wouldn't tell me his address and started getting an attitude and cursing at me. At this point I checked the immediate area around me and saw that Tyler and Steve had come up on my right side (Scott was on my left). I told Thug 1 that he wasn't coming in the club. He started to walk past me. I stepped in front of him and he said "F*ck you, n*gger". Steve told me to roll-out and go inside. I told Steve that Thug 1 was not coming in the club and then went inside. When I came back to the door a few minutes later I noticed that Thug 1 and his friend (I'll call him Thug 2) had been let inside. I went outside and asked Brandon & Tyler how Thug 1 and Thug 2 had got inside. They said they didn't know. I later found out that Steve had left the door to tell someone inside to take off their hat and left Scott & Tyler to deal with Thug 1 and Thug 2. Scott had decided that since they had calmed down he could let them in. I told Brandon and Tyler that if a fight broke out later on, Thug 1 would take that opportunity to run up and punch me in the back of the head.
A little bit later Steve and I were working the door (Steve was giving Scott a break). A Polynesian came to the door wearing baggy shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. I told this guy (I'll call him Beer Thug) that he couldn't come in because of the dress code. He complained and then walked back to his friend's car that was sitting in front of the club. I figured he was leaving so I sat down in one of the chairs at the front door. Beer Thug came back up and walked towards the door. I told him that he couldn't come in. He said something like, "I know. I was just playing, Crypt." I smiled at his stupid wanksta comment and he asked what I was laughing about. I said "Nothin', have a good night." He stepped up to me up and threw a gang sign in my face. I pushed his arm away and stood up. He put his hands up like he wanted to fight and said, "What 'chu (you) want to do?" I said, "Whatever you want to do." He walked back to his car. I thought he was leaving. Next thing I know I heard him yell something at me and heard something explode next to my head. Then I felt beer spray on me. This idiot had thrown a can of beer at my head and it had exploded on the wall next to my head. I stepped inside the door and told Rachel, who was helping Brandy work the hostess position, to call the police. Brandy asked if I had the license plate number and a description of the car. I said, "I think Steve has it" and went to the door to ask him. Steve gave me the license plate number and I turned to give it to Rachel who was on the phone. Brandy had told Rachel to call Phil to ask him if they could call the police. So, instead of being on the phone with the police, Rachel was on the phone with Phil. The combination of the fact that I had almost been hit in the head with a can of beer and the fact that Brandy had told Rachel to not call the police made me mad. I started yelling at them. I said "What does it take to get the police called around here, a bullet coming through the window?" After venting a little bit, I realized that I shouldn't be yelling at Brandy. I apologized for yelling, but we still argued about why they hadn't called the police. Brandon came up and told me that of I didn't quit talking to Brandy that way, he was going to "take me out back". I told him not to threaten me and explained that I had already apologized for yelling at her." He said, "Just don't disrespect her." and walked off.
At 1:50 A.M. Phil told us to get everyone out of the club (by law all customers have to be out of the club by 2 A.M.) As we were telling to people to leave I saw someone push a guy down. I moved forward and backed this guy up. He came forward again so I turned him around, picked him up off of the ground in a half-nelson/sleeper hold and started carrying him outside. When we got to the door the guy started to struggle. I told him to relax. He said, "Drew, it's me. Get the f*ck off of me." At this point I realized that it was Boogie that I was kicking out. I pushed him out the door and told everyone who was behind me to keep moving out of the club. Someone who was outside said there was a fight outside. I also heard that there was a fight inside. I told Rachel to call the police and she did. I went inside (fights insde take presedence over fights outside because the safety of the employees takes precedence over customers fighting outside the club) and Thug 1 and Thug 2 were fighting with Brandon, Steve, and Scott. Once we got that situation under control, I ran outside to stop the fight out there.
When I got outside, there were several fights going on. I ran to the fight nearest me. The guy closest to me who was fighting was grabbing the other guys leg. When I grabbed him and pulled him off of the other guy I saw that it was Brown Sugar, one of the "Men of Crave" (the male strippers that we have on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9-10 P.M.). I pulled him off to the side with a friend of his and asked his friend if he could hold him. He said yes. Then I noticed someone laying on the ground. I ran over to him as people were picking him up. There wasn't anyone attacking him at that point but he had a few cuts on his head.
In the part of the parking lot near the street, there was more fighting going on. I ran over to where a Polynesian was fighting someone. As I squatted down to pull him off of the guy he was fighting, someone punched me in the back of the head. Because I was already squatting down, the punch knocked me to one knee. I immediately stood up and turned around. Ryan, the Promotions Manager, and several other customers were standing there but none of them were the guy that punched me. I later found out from Ryan that it was Thug 1 that had puched me (I knew that was going to happen). The Polynesain guy was still fighting so I grabbed him and pulled him away from the guy that he was fighting. Since there was no one restraining the guy attacking the guy I was restraining, he kept trying to attack him so I had to keep pulling him back to keep him from getting hit. Eventually the other guy quit attacking him.
At this point the police (Salt Lake County Sheriffs have jurisdiction in the area where Players is located) showed up. I ran over to one of the Sherrif's cars and told me that there had ben several fights going on. I told him that Thug 1 and Thug 2 had been fighting inside. He asked where they were. I looked around and saw them going to the parking lot in the lot next to Players. He went after them.
I went back to the front of the club to make sure everything was O.K. Things had settled down by now and people were leaving since the cops were there. I ended up talking to one of the Sheriffs and found out that because of the Polynesians that had been hired by Bags to work Security there, the Sheriffs didn't think very much of Players and Players Security. I explained that I had been gone for a while but was back now to help straighten things out. I also told him that we had gotten rid of most of the old Security and would only be hiring Security that had Work Cards. Work Cards are cards required for all Bouncers that work at clubs in the jurisdiction of Salt Lake County (outside of Salt Lake City). Anyone who has any felonies or warrants can't get a work card.
Big John, Boogie (who had continued fighting outside), Thug 1, and Thug 2 all went to jail. All of them were released later that night except for Big John who was held for three days. Scott apologized to me for letting Thug 1 and Thug 2 into the club.
I talked to Phil later that night and explained that if he had let us call the police when Beer Thug had thrown the can of beer at me, there would have been less fighting in the parking lot. He explained to me that since Players has become a "problem club", when the police show up, they don't just send 1 or 2 officers - they send 10-15 officers and they show up with automatic rifles, handguns, and tasers out. I said that it still would have been better to have them there before the chaos in the parking lot had broken out. Phil didn't agree. Phil makes a mule look compliant. He's more stubborn than me and that's saying a lot.
Phil also pointed out that he had told Steve to have the D.J. turn off the music at 1:40 A.M. Steve didn't do that so Phil came up and turned off the music at 1:50. We discussed having a strategy like the one we had at Natalie's (Phil was the manager at Natalie's and I was the Head of Security). The strategy was to turn the lights up at 1:15 A.M., turn off the music at 1:30, and then doing a "hard push" (telling everyone they need to leave the club) at 1:45. This strategy encourages people to leave gradually over a 45 minute period instead of forcing all of them out in 10-15 minutes. We also discussed telling the D.J.s not to play wanksta/thug rap after 12:00. This is easier said than done, but it should help keep the fights to a minimum.
Brandon & Tyler both quit that night. I'll miss Tyler, but I won't miss Brandon. Hopefully, with us closing Players and re-opening as The Beach, things will get better.