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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Student reports club assault

A GW student filed a complaint against a D.C. nightclub last week, alleging that he was manhandled by one of its bouncers at a February sorority party.

Freshman Seth London, who was attending a Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority event at Polly Esther’s Feb. 23, said he was assaulted by one of the hot spot’s crowd controllers for not complying with its dress code.

After entering the club at about 11:30 p.m., London said a bouncer informed him that he would have to wear a jacket to cover up his sleeveless shirt when the club, located at 12th and F streets, opened up to the public at midnight.

London said shortly after putting on his brown leather jacket, a bouncer grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground. The bouncer then dragged London down a flight of stairs, said freshman Mike Liben, who witnessed the alleged incident.

“He could have broken his neck,” Liben said. “He’s lucky he didn’t.”

London, who sustained several bruises and scratches on his face and neck, said he was overpowered by the six-foot bouncer and was shocked by the assault.

“I was just screaming, ‘Why did this happen? What did I do wrong?” London said.

“I’m dying to know if he had a reason for what he did,” said London, who added that he was in full compliance with the club’s dress code after he put on the jacket.

Polly Esther’s managers were unavailable for comment as of press time.

Freshman Matthew Collier, London’s roommate, said another bouncer attacked him after he came to the defense of his friend.

“I was yelling at them from the top of the stairwell,” he said.

“The next thing I know, a bouncer grabs me by my right arm, puts a hold on my neck, and straddles me in some sort of sleeper hold,” he continued.

Collier, who had a long bruise on his left arm and several marks on his nose and neck, said he blacked out for “two or three” seconds after being forced to the ground.

“My neck still hurts,” he said.

MPD officials confirmed Thursday that London lodged a complaint against the bouncers and their employers but would not give further details about possible inquiry into the incident.

London said MPD did not tell him when his complaint would be investigated.

MPD Lt. Patrick Burke, who coordinates alcohol law enforcement at local clubs and bars, said bouncers at clubs do not have the authority to use physical force against patrons.

“Even if they want to remove someone from the club, they should call us to do the physical part,” Burke said.

London said he feels that he was a victim of bouncers that wield too much power over club-goers.

“They’re given a lot of authority … and they think that they can do what they want,” London said.

Collier said he would still visit clubs despite the incident, but that he would be more aware of his surroundings.

“I’m just going to stay out of the way of bouncers at all cost,” he said.

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