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  1. #1
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    Default Another example of why to avoid Mansion Nightclub

    Club Mansion workers held in beatings

    Nearly a dozen bouncers inside South Beach's Club Mansion viciously beat three University of Delaware students over a disputed bill early Friday, according to Miami Beach police.

    Fort Lauderdale lawyer Bo Dennis plans to file a lawsuit this week on the three men's behalf, claiming that they were bloodied in a back room of Club Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave. The young men had cuts and black eyes.

    Miami Beach police arrived just as the three men were able to escape through a side door, and took as many as 11 employees into custody.

    Sean Sweeney, Trevor Costello and John Merryman, who were in South Florida on spring break, were ''knocked to the ground and struck upon the head and body with closed fists, kicked via feet and held down,'' according to a police report.

    According to the report, bouncer Jex Fontaine threw the first blow, sparking a large physical fight that lasted some time.

    Fontaine, who was charged with battery in 2002 but never prosecuted, faces felony battery charges for the Mansion melee.

    Also charged for playing roles in the fight: Anthony Batts, Miami Beach; Matthew Pichardo, Hollywood; Eric DaSilva, Aventura; Diego Bustos, Miami; Corey Andre Robinson, Miami Beach; Juan Pagan-Soto, Miami; and Manuel Gaston, North Bay Village.

    The report named the following men as suspects in the beating, although it is not known if they were charged: Antonio Marshall, Miami Beach; Jason Nieves, West Palm Beach; and Orlando Hernandez, Miami Beach.

    According to the report, the entire episode was captured on surveillance video.

    A phone call and an e-mail sent to a spokeswoman for The Opium Group, which owns Club Mansion, was not immediately returned.

    Here's Dennis' account of the night's events:

    The evening began innocently enough hours earlier when the three men decided to spend Thursday night at Mansion, where Merryman once worked.

    They asked to sit in the VIP section and bought a bottle of alcohol as required.

    After about two hours, Dennis said, a waitress told the three men they had to give up their table for other patrons.

    Then they were told their tab was $700. Surprised by the amount, Sweeney, Costello and Merryman asked to see a bill. The waitress refused.

    A bouncer then came over to the table and asked if there was a problem.

    Again, they asked for a written copy of their bill. Again, they were denied.

    At this point, a third person came over to the table and asked the students to come into an office in the back, which was filled with roughly 10 bouncers. When the young men again refused to pay without seeing a tab, employees of the club turned physical.

    ''They started pounding on the boys,'' Dennis said.

    Sweeney, who is over six feet tall and 200 pounds, was taken to the floor with a choke-hold. After taking a few kicks, he passed out. The bouncers also went to work on Merryman and Costello.

    The students then agreed to pay the $700 with a credit card and were told that Costello and Sweeney could go. But the bouncers said they weren't through with Merryman, according to Dennis.

    ''We're going to teach you a lesson,'' one told Merryman, said Dennis, who did not know what was meant by that.

    Sweeney and Costello refused to leave without their friend, and all three took another round of blows. Finally, Merryman was able to barge past two bouncers and out a side door, where he was met by Miami Beach police, who were headed in the other direction.

    A Mansion employee apparently tipped the cops off about the fight. There were squad cars outside of the club when Merryman barged out the door. The other two students were also able to escape the building. Police took the entire group of bouncers away.

    The victims were treated for their injuries at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

    Dennis plans to sue Mansion Club and its parent company, The Opium Group.
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/brea...ry/486209.html

  2. #2
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    "The evening began innocently enough hours earlier when the three men decided to spend Thursday night at Mansion, where Merryman once worked."
    That's cold.

    I can just hear Merryman now, "dude, don't worry about getting in. I got the fat hook up at Mansion, I used to work there."

  3. #3
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    I had a similar experience at a restaurant near Boynton Beach where I was given a bill which was indecipherable and included an entertainment charge, etc. I asked for a copy which I could review and a manager was sent who told me he would call the police. I told him to go ahead which he did. The police, who wanted to know why a nice guy with a familiar was in this dump (great food, by the way) proceeded to tell the manager to get a menu, a calculator, and a place to figure out the bill. The manager gave the police some BS and was told they would close the place "right now" and when we were through we were overcharged over $100. I was given a corrected bill, the manager was told they would be visited by the fraud division or something like that and then, when the manager, in front of the police, threatened me, was escorted by the police who told me that they had someone shot there the week before. The manager told me to never come back. Sure.

    Lesson, call the cops and never ever go to a back room!

  4. #4
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    Update: lawsuit has been filed and there's rumor of a video.

    Mansion's official statement as per Vanessa Menke quipped that the Opium Group has no statement on the "unfounded" allegations and are working closely with police as they continue their investigation.

    Here's what I'm wondering: since Merryman worked there, were these guys acting on their own because maybe Merryman did something these bouncers personally felt was reprehensible like maybe acting like a little tool 'Do you know who I am? I used to work here and can get you fired' or something annoying like that, or were these guys acting on behalf of Mansion. It would be a shame to see Mansion foot the bill for something some dumba$$es may have done on their own accord.

    On a lighter note, if anyone is looking for a job as bouncer, Mansion has a few openings...


    By the way, $700 for three guys? Sounds about right.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    This is just awful. Let me ask this: is it customary at these clubs to not get a bill? This seems fishy.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like this place is being run like a strip club owned by the mob. The signs of bogus credit card charges is a hint of bad activity. My friends visit a lot of South Beach clubs, but Mansion is never one of them. Its gotten way to rough there. The tourists are the only ones there.

  7. #7
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    I admit that it's been a minute since I've been there but I've never been overcharged. Have I been overcharged elsewhere? Sure*.
    *but I've never had the crap kicked out of me for questioning the bill...

    Do you know how easy it is to charge the wrong person at a club though? You've got a table and yes you have the patrons who reserved and sat at that table but you also have their 'guests.' You know, the friends that arrive later who drink from the bottles and order drinks or even the girls that these guys pick up. They invite them back to their table and tell them 'Sure, order what you want. It's my table.' A waitress can get confused with the orders understandably when you've got a few hundred faces strolling in and out per hour but you also have the folks that try to pull a fast one. The ones who, after having told their 'guests' to order what they like, turn around and tell the waitress that they don't know those folks. Who do you think has to pay for the tab when a patron skips out? The waitress. Yup.

    When I worked as a waitress at that night club that shall remain nameless, I can't tell you how many times the bouncers, who were also my friends, would follow a guy to their car and 'physically' ASK why they were trying to skip out on their tab and EXPLAINED that i would have to pay for it if they didn't. It was amazing the number of them who came back with bloody noses or swollen eyes just to apologize and pay their tabs...

    Again there has to be more to the story than 'I asked for my bill, Mansion refused and the bouncers beat me up.'

    Know how I know this? Because cash bills are settled up front before they bring you anything and credit card bills are SIGNED. No bill means no receipt to sign so Mansion can bill your credit card. I HARDLY think Mansion has started fronting cash paying patrons anything nor do i think they have a super secret new way of charging CC's without getting a signature.

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    Should be interesting to see how this plays out but my guess is The Opium Group will settle it quietly (out of the papers).

    As for waitresses who can't keep track of their customers, we call that "incompetence" where I come from. And we call questions asked with fists "assault", which is a crime, just as walking out on a tab is a crime.

    I avoid places where bouncers who don't treat patrons with courtesy and respect are tolerated. They seem to cause more trouble than they prevent. And they aren't necessary in places with the right clientele.

  9. #9
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    The no bill thing is not uncommon at first "as in a waitress/bartender say "your tab is $100). But I have never in my life seen someone refuse to offeru p an itemized bill. I believe that is illegal.

    I also believe Mr. Dennis' side of the story is not the WHOLE story. I'll be interested to see how this one pans out.

  10. #10
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    The last thing Opium wants is this to go to court where they have to start showing receipts, pay stubbs, taxes, etc. You know....IRS type of stuff. They will settle really fast. The guys will walk away with a few hundred grand a piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy
    I admit that it's been a minute since I've been there but I've never been overcharged. Have I been overcharged elsewhere? Sure*.
    *but I've never had the crap kicked out of me for questioning the bill...

    Do you know how easy it is to charge the wrong person at a club though? You've got a table and yes you have the patrons who reserved and sat at that table but you also have their 'guests.' You know, the friends that arrive later who drink from the bottles and order drinks or even the girls that these guys pick up. They invite them back to their table and tell them 'Sure, order what you want. It's my table.' A waitress can get confused with the orders understandably when you've got a few hundred faces strolling in and out per hour but you also have the folks that try to pull a fast one. The ones who, after having told their 'guests' to order what they like, turn around and tell the waitress that they don't know those folks. Who do you think has to pay for the tab when a patron skips out? The waitress. Yup.

    When I worked as a waitress at that night club that shall remain nameless, I can't tell you how many times the bouncers, who were also my friends, would follow a guy to their car and 'physically' ASK why they were trying to skip out on their tab and EXPLAINED that i would have to pay for it if they didn't. It was amazing the number of them who came back with bloody noses or swollen eyes just to apologize and pay their tabs...

    Again there has to be more to the story than 'I asked for my bill, Mansion refused and the bouncers beat me up.'

    Know how I know this? Because cash bills are settled up front before they bring you anything and credit card bills are SIGNED. No bill means no receipt to sign so Mansion can bill your credit card. I HARDLY think Mansion has started fronting cash paying patrons anything nor do i think they have a super secret new way of charging CC's without getting a signature.

    There is never a justified excuse for bouncers beating up patrons except in self defense. Your bouncer friends in my opinion were just as much criminals as those trying to leave without paying.

  12. #12
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I think you're right, I bet they do settle. But I also bet that the bouncers were doing something most people in the club would have like to have done themselves. I've met a lot of douchbags in clubs, especially in VIp areas, and I always enjoy the bouncers putting them in line. Like I enjoy watching police arrest people. Alls I'm saying is, yeah, they may have een out of line, but we really don't know the whole story.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bradaschenck's Avatar
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    There is no question regardless of what happened the bouncers were way over the line. It is sad because it makes the whole industry look shady. Maybe right so I cannot answer on that. Maybe what we need is tighter regulation.

    There is no way for this to look Ok for the club either they let this behavior exist or they have such poor standards that they have hired goons.

    They should have been professional. Pepper spray, detaining, but never assaulting end of story. Douchebags or not no one should ever be assaulted by staff.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad -A
    Douchebags or not no one should ever be assaulted by staff.
    Damn right!, and those who seem to be assuming that these kids are douchebags, can we also assume that these bouncers are all want-to-be-cops-but-can't-because-of-felony-records + i-got-picked-on-to-much-in-highschool-so-i-didn't-even-bother-with-college types?

    Tim

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    It's about damn time the cops do something to these bouncers. Usually the bouncers are friends with the cops. I've seen it first hand where a fight has occurred at a bar, the patron gets the crap beat out of him, and the nothing happens to the bouncers.

    Who the hell do they think they are? God? The Miami Beach Police department should really do their jobs and enforce a code of conduct by clubs and bouncers. There's no need for such violence.

    Lastly, I would also refuse to pay a bill I didn't see itemized. These clubs charge whatever they want, whenever they want, and the patrons don't have a say. The clubs should, at the very least, provide a price list for bottle service, so that patrons know exactly how much they will be paying for their bill. Besides ONE bottle doesn't not equal $700. Maybe two bottles, still the price is usually $250 per bottle.

    This is BS and these clubs and bouncers are completely out of control.

    WHERE IS THE REGULATION?? If I were these guys, I would not settle, but take The Opium group to court. It would certainly do us all a favor, and perhaps open the lines of communication for better laws pertaining to this issue.

    Urg, I'm disgusted.

  16. #16
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    Most of the bouncers I've met were some sort of football players, usually college guys who couldn't quite hack it in the pros. Not usually wannabe cops, though. Anwyay, no, they hsould not have assaulted these guys the way they did, but who's to say that's the whole story? We just got one side, is all I'm saying.

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    SUZY, are you kidding? Are you a spokesperson for Mansion (Opium Group) in disguise, or do you date a Neanderthal, or both?

    Nice try. The people with brains see right through you. Remember, this is a forum for people with some intellect, who might read, not the usual morons you are trying to fool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dictator
    SUZY, are you kidding? Are you a spokesperson for Mansion (Opium Group) in disguise, or do you date a Neanderthal, or both?

    Nice try. The people with brains see right through you. Remember, this is a forum for people with some intellect, who might read, not the usual morons you are trying to fool.
    Hey Dictator, don't do verbally what the bouncers did physically to those guys. I have really liked participating in these forums because they are really helpful and everyone has been pretty nice. I like to think this is indicative of this area. If you don't agree than state your ideas without vitriol please.

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    If I did verbally what the bouncers did physically, it would have been a lot worse. What a ridiculous comparison. If I offended you, which makes sense in the society we live in now, where everyone is so sensitive about every little thing, and people cry at the drop of a hat, well, I apologize.

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    Yes we don't know the whole story, but unless the bouncers were attacked first by the patrons, there is still NO NEED for them to beat on the guys. That would be the ONLY justifiable reason for it.
    If a patron doesn't want to pay the bill, the correct way to deal with it, is to call the cops.

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