Going out to the bars is usually a good time for you and your friends. You spend a couple of bucks to get tipsy enough and go over and talk to that hot girl you've been checking out all night. Little did you realize that you are actually shit-faced. You creep her out, won't leave her alone, and now you're stumbling around trying to play it cool. We've all done it!
But once you get to a certain point, the bouncers get involved. It's their job, right? Pick you up, throw your drunk ass out and go back inside. Most people believe that bouncers tend to be assholes who won't let you in to underage drink and ruin your changes when you're trying to score a phone number at last call.
I've been a bouncer for a while now and I'd like to share some of my stories to show situations from another perspective.
Juneau, People from Alaska Can Be Real Assholes
Tonight I was planning on it being a training night with one of our new hires at my bar, Brandon. Tommy, another bouncer, asked that he roam the bars tonight and I take over for him at Hoptinger; no problem. Brandon has been working for us for about three weeks now and had not had much training on ID’s at the door. The kid was eager to learn and with Suppa leaving soon, we needed to get people’s experience up so that we could rely on them more at the entrance.
Brandon picked up the simple stuff with the Florida ID’s pretty quickly. Half-way cut leg “R” on the word “Expires,” the third to last grouping of numbers along the top is the birth year and the lamination on the back only covers half the ID rather than the whole thing. The verification process to get ID’s down is not that difficult, what we REALLY want to see is how our guys interact with the customers. The job is 90% customer service, after all. If you respect and are friendly with people, they tend to be the same way with you. But, unfortunately that is not always the case.
Brandon was killing it most of the night. He greeted pretty much every customer as they came to the door with a smile, checked their ID thoroughly, asked me questions about out of state ID’s and was professional. I was standing at the exit just next to him keeping count of the people that exited, making sure people were not walking out with drinks, or trying to sneak past him. But, checking a lot of ID’s over and over with a flashlight does get to your eyes after a while. Kinda like if you were sitting next to a TV forever and you start to see stars or blurriness.
Come 11:45 PM, he asks if we can switch for a little. No problem. Me having more experience, I blew through the line rather quickly and got a lot of people inside in a short period of time. One group that did walk up tried to go in without having their ID’s checked and Adam stopped them. He took over for me at the exit while Brandon went inside to roam for a little. The first 4 or 5 customers were good, then came the last guy of the group. A rather short kid, under 6ft, in a blue button down with black hair, real scrawny looking. I don’t want to put his real name, so we’ll just call him Dave. The ID he handed me was Juneau, Alaska; the capital. Now I have worked the door at bars for over four years now and have seem MAYBE three Alaska ID’s. So I wasn’t too familiar with it. When you are not familiar with an ID, a common question to help verify it is to ask for a second form of ID from the customer. A debit or credit card, a student ID, work ID, pretty much anything with a matching name of it. We do this because when people get fake ID’s, they tend to get them in fake names too and don’t have any other form to verify it, thus it is more than likely a fake.
I asked David if he had any other form of ID on him and he just stared at me like I was speaking a different language. “Ya know, a credit card or something like that? Anything else that would have your name on it to match your ID,” I said. With a confused look on his face all he could come up with was the word no. I looked over the ID a few more seconds and I went with my gut; I considered it fake until a cop could verify it. Being able to check ID’s correctly has a lot to do with going with your gut to see how the person reacts when trying to verify it with police. Many people think that if they memorize all the info on the ID, they will get in the bar easily. That is not the case. We know that people can just memorize a name, date of birth, and address; it is not that hard. Another tactic that we have is the ability to have an officer run the ID on his computer. We have done that a couple times and when people have their fakes taken away and we suggest that, they usually bolt. Now, because it was a state that we don’t see much, and he didn’t have a second form of ID on him (I don’t know how he was going to pay for drinks without a card), I put the ID in my right front pocket and said, “It doesn’t look real and you don’t have any way of verifying it. If you want it back, you would have to get a cop to run it. There are two to three cops next door that can do it if you want to go grab one.”
He did not take that too kindly. “Fuck you, you’re taking it. You go get a cop.” Now, we are not allowed to leave our posts at the front door for obvious reasons, so that’s why the customer has to grab an officer. He was pretty adamant about getting his ID back and dropped plenty of F-Bombs to try and get his point across. With this job, you have to be able to not take things literally when people start bitching at you. It has to go in one ear and out the other if you’re going to be able to work it, and I can do that pretty well. After multiple times of telling him if he wants it back, he’d have to get an officer to run it, he puffed his chest out and came eyes to chin with me. I’m a little over 6’2”, so I look down on most people. “I will fuck you up if you don’t give me my ID back,” came out of his mouth while his yellow teeth were still grinding in anger that he got caught. When I told him no and again asked that he go get an officer, he attempted to reach into my pants and grab the ID. That’s a big no-no at the entrance of a bar and it’s probably considered assault, brotha. (Hope you got that movie reference.) So, like any sane man that wanted to keep another man’s hand out of my pants, I grabbed his left wrist with my right hand and when I looked up, he cold cocked me with his right hand. I’ll give it to him, he got me square in the jaw, but I’m no wuss and went right back at him with Adam’s help.
I tried putting him in a headlock after Adam had him in one but he slipped out of it and he slipped out of mine. It was not long of us fighting that people took out their phones that were on the patio and started videoing it for Worldstar. Irving who was roaming inside saw David throw the punch then made his way outside. Once there, he tried to get ahold of him and just pin him to the ground with me while Adam ran to get the cops next door. Now Tommy was on his way back from doing his rounds at other bars and saw us fighting this kid on the ground and ran over to help restrain him. I had a hand on his wrist and my forearm across his throat. I’m not sure how Irving was holding him but Tommy had a knee in the kids chest trying to hold him down. David is not a big guy either, maybe 175lbs, but just strong and squirmy. We were able to hold him down while he kept screaming and yelling to get the fuck off of him. Ha ha ha, yeah right, dude, 'cause we’re just going to hop off and let you go home for the night. As the cop came back with Adam, he told us to hop off of him, then David told the cop to fuck off. Yeah, not a good way to start a conversation with a cop after you just sucker punched a bouncer. The cop wasn’t going to have any of it either. He looked him square in the face while he was still laying on his back and said do you know who I am? I am the fuckin' police, you don’t talk like that to us. Now get your ass up.
One officer took him away from us and started to question him about the situation. I went inside to cool off a little bit and remove myself from the situation. Catch my breath, take a drink of water, and let the adrenaline die down a little, then went back outside. One of the officers was talking to a witness who gave as good account of the situation as anyone could. He said I was professional about everything up until I got sucker punched across the face. The officer then looked at me and asked if I was the one that got hit and said yea, he got me with a right hook. Then the most beautiful words came out of his mouth next. “Do you want to press charges against him?”
“Fuck yeah, I do!”
“Sounds good, we’ll bring him in now.” As he walked away from me and towards David, he began taking his handcuffs off his belt. David was very surprised and wanted no part in being arrested.
“Why the fuck are you arresting me?! He hit me first!” (Not true, but you can’t blame a guy for trying!) He wasn’t going down without a fight, though. He fought those two cops with everything he had then he lost half of what he had. During a scuffle with the two cops, his button down and undershirt somehow slip off of him and he starts hauling ass down the street into a parking lot. The other customers behind me in Hop were almost cheering him on to get away because everyone was flabbergasted with his ability to slip away from being arrested. “You’re my hero!” One dude behind me screamed out. I laughed a little bit myself thinking, How the hell does this happen? When they catch him he’s fucked for sure.
Well, he lasted another 5 seconds and ate shit. An officer near the parking lot he tried to run through hit him square in the back with a Taser. Now youe average Taser hits you with 50,000 volts. A Taser shoots 50,000 volts through your system but with very low amperage. This keeps the victim (if you can call them that) from having any lasting damage. Once the Taser is fired from a gun, two prongs with metal wires clamp on to your skin and the pulse runs through the wires. The five second shock sends intense signals through the nervous system, which causes a lot of pain and contraction of all the muscles, basically paralyzing the person for about 5 seconds, forcing them to drop. No shirt bare back, and he dropped like a tree face first onto the pavement.
Should have been able to provide a second form, my man. Now you’re going to jail for assault and battery, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest. A rough way to end your night, you asshole from Juneau.