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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.


Comment on this Story

  • PatBB

    3 times in 2006 or 7. I met 2 acquaintances by chance one night on the sidewalk. They said, ‘We’re going to the Sidebar. Wanna come along?’ I said ‘yes.’ They got in without question, but I was asked for my membership card. I said I was the guest of the 2 acquaintances and/ or would like to apply for membership as I had dome at many other ‘Private Clubs.’ The bouncer told me I needed to come back 10AM–5PM Tue.–Fri. to speak to the Membership Manager to apply!

    Several days later I happened to be downtown in the daytime & went to the Sidebar. I opened the door and saw a meeting of owners/ managers, one of whom scowled, ‘What do you want? We’re closed!’ I asked for the Membership Manager & was told he wasn’t there. Then one night a bouncer of another bar confirmed my suspicion that this is a common ploy to exclude anyone who doesn’t fit in to their clientele–wrong age, race, skin color, sexual orientation, etc. OK, I’m 40-something & most Sidebar customers are 20-something. Perhaps he thought I was an ALE agent or looking for trouble with my daughter’s boyfriend or something!

  • MuscleHamster

    Steve has been doing martial arts since he was a boy. Anyone that knows anything about martial arts or a rear naked choke knows that if done properly the choke is a blood choke and is done by applying pressure to both sides of the neck via the carotid arteries to reduce blood flow to the brain thus eventually causing the victim to pass out and go unconcious. The choke has nothing to do with crushing ones throat. You can tell this guy is obviously looney and full of crap. What a chump. Sorrry you’re not selling enough pizza dude, maybe you should spill a cup of hot mcdonalds coffee on yourself next.

  • Guesttttt

    I saw this guy on the news, and there is no misunderstanding that he is well over 21. I’m wondering if they ID everyone, or was the ID requested for a credit card transaction? Seems like there is much more to this story on both sides than have been revealed. Even if the bouncer is the biggest a-hole out there, I can’t imagine him choking out a middle aged man for not having an ID. Definitely more to this story.

  • Rich Anderson

    I am the Rich Anderson in this story. I can understand why some people might not think a bouncer would attack somebody for no reason. It does seem weird. But, that’s what happened. I wasn’t warned. There was no attempt to get me out the door. Just attacked. Why? I have no idea.

    One thing that was wrong in this story, was that I do have an ID. I don’t get carded because I am a middle-aged man. When they asked for my ID I was already inside and just wanted to go. That was when I was attacked.

    I know that bouncing is a tough job and that they are bound to overreact at times. This went beyond that.

    I have no plans of suing. I just want no one else to get hurt by someone who has a history of this behavior.

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