University News

Students allege assault by Colosseum bouncers

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two students alleged they were physically abused by bouncers at the Colosseum nightclub around midnight last night. Michael Quinn ’13 and Jonathan Smallwood ’12 said they were dragged down a flight of stairs from the second-story club by their necks.

Colosseum bouncers outside the club around 1 a.m. declined to comment. The bouncers said the club management would come outside for comment, but management did not appear before the bouncers asked The Herald to leave.

Providence Police Sgt. Tim McGann said that according to the club’s staff, the two students were dancing on the bar and did not comply with requests to stop. Bouncers escorted the students outside, McGann said. The Providence Police filed a disturbance report.

But Quinn said he and Smallwood did not dance on the bar and were instead dancing on the stage. Bouncers were kicking men off the stage, trying to limit it to female patrons, Quinn said. The students began dancing on the floor near the stage, he said, at which point a bouncer took Smallwood by the neck and dragged him towards the door.

According to Chris Lisiewski ’12, a friend of the two students who was present for the altercation, two bouncers stood on the stage above Smallwood while he danced “very provocatively at the base of the stage.”

One of the bouncers then seized Smallwood in a headlock, Lisiewski said.

“I was told I was dancing too femininely,” Smallwood said. He said the bouncer dragged him through the room and down the stairs to the first floor. In response, Quinn said he asked the bouncer to “please let go of my friend.” According to Quinn and Lisiewski, a second bouncer then also grabbed Quinn by the neck.

Smallwood said he was “basically screaming to let me go.” The bouncer threw Smallwood out of the club, and he walked directly back to his suite on Vartan Gregorian Quad, he said.

Lisiewski said the second bouncer “took (Quinn) to the ground” before dragging him down the stairs.

Quinn said he told the bouncer, “I can’t breathe,” as he began to lose vision, at which point a bouncer said, “Put him to sleep.” Quinn has visible bruises from the bouncer’s grip on his neck.

Lisiewski said after Smallwood and Quinn were taken away, he asked the bouncers why they had thrown out his friends. He said the bouncers told him that Smallwood and Quinn had been “giving them the finger and mouthing off.” But “neither of them were doing that at all,” Lisiewski said. “They were just dancing.”

— With additional reporting by Herald staff

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