WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington pub owner had his own run-in with trouble downtown recently. He says he was attacked from behind as he tried to walk away from a misunderstanding at another bar. His alleged attacker is a bouncer who has been in trouble before.
Side Bar bouncer Steven Fox is charged with simple assault after he allegedly choked 46-year-old Richard Anderson. The Fat Tony’s owner says a group of friends were celebrating a birthday that night. They walked into the side bar when another bouncer asked the gray-haired Anderson for his ID.
Anderson admits he didn’t have an ID and asked the bouncer to let him stay. Seeing that he was not going to win Anderson started for the door telling the bouncer he was going to leave.
“Right when I said that someone who I had not seen before came from behind and put me in a choke hold and put me back so I was down on the ground,” Anderson said. “I put my hands in the air, I was not posing a threat. My fists weren’t raised. My voice was never raised. He was not trying to get me out of the door. He was just choking me.”
The bouncer was identified as Fox, a man who was convicted of assaulting another customer in 2009.
We asked Fox at his home if had any any comment…
“I have an attorney about that, so I’m not going to say anything,” Fox said.
Experienced bouncers like Tre Benzio’s Craig Shepard say getting physical with a customer should be a last resort. He says courtesy is the way to go.
“Even harsh words with anyone, you try to avoid that,” Shepard said. “‘Yes, sir. No, sir.’ Anything to calm the situation.”
As for Anderson, he just hopes no one else has to experience what he did.
“I don’t know what I would like to see come out of it, but I would definitely like to see no one else get hurt like that,” Anderson said. “Every time I swallow, still three weeks later it’s painful.”
According to court records, Fox has two warrants out for his arrest. One is for the assault against Anderson. The other for failing to pay all his fees from his 2009 assault case.