Was A Bouncer In WeHo Bashing A Gay Clubgoer Or Just Doing His Job?

An incident last month in West Hollywood has raised questions about just how far nightclub security can go in maintaining order:  Weho Daily posted footage this week of a bouncer outside Voyeur knocking down and punching a drunk gay man,while allegedly hurling a homophobic slur. Voyeur is predominantly straight club but does host the occasional gay party.

The film quality is not ideal, so it’s not 100% clear what is being said, but LA Weekly has a transcript:

“Look at my face man,” the victim says, “-they fucked me up.”

One of two men holding him down says: “Fuck your face. I don’t give a shit about your face.

Victim: “Trust me please I didn’t start the shit. I was with my boyfriend. I’m a gay boy.”

Face down on the ground, he tries to look up at his captors. One of them says:

“Yeah well your a fuckin’ [unintelligible] … Stop fuckin’ struggling motherfucker. ”

At that point the victim receives what appear to be a pair of punches, one to his back and one to the back of his head, by the winner in black.

“Stop resisting,” one of the men says. “Stay still motherfucker.”

Then one of the captors unleashes this: “Stop fuckin’ moving you cocksucker.”

Just then a security guard with a badge walks up, and one of the captors says, “Hey can we get some cuffs please.”

“Stay where you are motherfucker,” the victim is told. “Shut up.”

The victim, Timothy Reyes, might’ve started the shit after all: According to witnesses, he assaulted bar staff and other patrons at nearby Fubar. (Police say Reyes had started the fight over a jacket he mistakenly thought was his.)

It was when he was dragged outside that the violent takedown took place.

But the L.A. Weekly story also dug up some information of potential use to those of us who like to club-hop—exactly what amount of force can a bouncer use in the course of his job? The answer—not much.  “They can defend themselves and others with force. But that’s about it,” writes reporter Dennis Romero. “They punch you, you can punch back.”

Um, good to know but we’re not gonna be punching 300-lb juggernauts anytime soon.

Romero’s source in the LAPD explains:

Speaking in general terms a bouncer is a citizen, so the rules of engagement as applies to a bouncer are the same as any other citizen. You can be reasonable to protect yourself and you as a citizen can affect an arrest for something that happens in your presence. If a bouncer is pounding on someone, he better have some justification for that. He can be held accountable for his actions both criminally and civilly.

That might help in the aftermath, but we’ve seen enough overzealous security guards to know it won’t stop them from wailing on you. Any of you have tales of woe involving belligerent bouncers?

Share in the comments—but keep any names out of it.

Photo via Elmo H. Love

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  • The Realist

    This bouncer is in a world of trouble. Once that guy was removed from the premises, his job was done. In some states he could be arrested for some form of kidnapping.

  • Tyler

    I’ve lived in places where bouncers severely beat up and even accidentally killed a person in a bar or club. I agree with the first comment, the job of a bouncer is to provide security in a bar or club and to eject people who are causing a problem in a club or bar and that’s it.

  • Cam

    Seems like they could nail him, not on kidnappin, but isn’t there a false imprisonment, or false restraint statute? Any lawyers on here? This guy is toast, they were outside.

    As for bouncers, I don’t envy their job, I get that they have to go farther than the law technically allows in order to do their job, but I’ve also had friends have to fire bouncers, because some of them treat all the customers as potential troublemakers. Hard to have that combination of being good natured AND a bad-ass that goes with that job.

  • Spike

    Cha-ching, why is this video only being seen now and where are the lawyers willing to represent this guy against club Voyeur?

    I’d say the tone and derogatory terms (but then again how derogatory is it to call a gay guy a cocksucker) pretty much seals the deal as far as how far out of bounds the behavior was as it pertains to his job as ‘bouncer.

  • jason

    What about the guy doing the restraining? What a piece of scum! Vile, scummy filth. I hope he is caught by the police and is jailed with a big fat prisoner.

    The bouncer is a digusting creature who should also be jailed.

  • Cam


    Jason, your problem is that you never state your opinion clearly. I can’t tell, are you a supporter of the bouncer or not? lol

  • Neil

    Actually, it seems like the two guys restraining the gay guy were doing so because they really did see the gay guy starting some trouble in the club, and even if that ends up not being the case, their behavior in the video suggests that they believed this at the time. No, he shouldn’t have punched the gay dude, or called him a cocksucker, but it really didn’t seem like the kind of punch whose sole purpose was to inflict harm on “as faggot.” He was a bouncer whose adrenaline was running because he sensed some kind of threat from an unruly, and potentially violent drunken patron, that happened to be gay. I definitely don’t get the feeling from this video that the bouncer is some unhinged anti-gay bigot or cretin.

    Should the bouncer lose his job? Perhaps. None of us knows what actually happened in there. But there are ways to deal with out-of-control patrons without resorting to punching and name calling — and there are protocols for retraining them until police can arrive. How else can one objectively ascertain what really happened in there. Clearly, the gay being held to the ground had another side of the story to tell.

  • MEJ

    This is what happens when we let hets take over our neighbourhoods.

  • Drew

    Way to be completely heterophobic and just as hypocritical as homophobes MEJ.

  • CBRad

    @MEJ: criticizing…who? The bouncer or the alleged troublemaker..?

  • Clockwork

    Club life is dangerous.

    But seriously the dude in the black jacket needs to be charged with assault and
    I hope the dude on the ground is able to get the legal help he needs.

  • Allen D.

    First of all, it annoys me that the person who put it on youtube labeled it as “police brutality”… seeing as how the guy isn’t a cop.

    He’s way fucking out of line. And no one that likes to throw around “cocksucker” as an insult should be working at a bar that “hosts the occasional gay party”.

  • Caleb

    @The Realist: I totally agree. I am an attorney and the bouncer clearly has way overstepped his bounds. I laughed and choked a little when the guy in black kept saying, “Stop resisting!” That douchebag needs to be fired, arrested for kidnapping, and sued civilly.

  • MEJ


    Way to be completely heterophobic

    Considering hets are constantly beating us, bullying us, killing us, and legislating against us, I think a healthy fear of them is warranted.

  • CBRad

    @MEJ: Yeah, but…to be fair…gays bully, kill, and (sometimes) even legislate against other gays too, so might as well just be afraid of everybody.

  • Drew

    Way to be a professional victim MEJ. No heterosexual people are not constantly beating, bullying, killing, legislating, or harassing LGBT people. Attitudes like yours are why some heterosexuals don’t like LGBT people.

  • Lon

    “Stop fuckin’ moving you cocksucker.” Yeah, that’s gay bashing. Hopefully that bouncer gets what he deserves.

  • nikko

    @MEJ:, There is no such thing as heterophobia, really.

  • dave

    I’m no lawyer, but I imagine punching someone in the back twice while yelling “cocksucker” constitutes a hate crime.

  • zachmck

    yea i dont care who started it these guys used an unnecessary amount of force for them to use..anybody find outwho the bashers are so the world can set out to make their lives a complete and total living hell and make good and sure that they’ll never get another job?

  • TheMarc

    Ya know, being the lush that I am; I have experienced three types of bouncers and I know which one this guy most likely is. The “Roadhouse enthusiast.” If you ever see Ron White, who’s a ridiculously funny comedian from Texas, he tells this story about a bouncer and in it he describes him as someone who to “Roadhouse.” Basically, a guy who gets off on beating on patrons; whether they deserve it or not. All bouncers are not this way by any stretch; but they’re enough of them out there that give bouncers and club security everywhere a pretty bad rep. I think he would have used a derogatory term no matter who he was beating on.

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