Attack at Vino Veritas in Riverside, CA
I was attacked at Vino Veritas in Riverside
Last night I went out to hear my friend Patrick McKeone play at a place called Vino Veritas. I like Vino because they have a good selection of wines and Patrick is a guitar player that I like to model myself after. I went there with the intention of hearing my friend play and talking to people around me. However, the night turned ugly and I am not denying my role or anger in the matter, but what happened afterwards was not necessary and I will seek justice.
I went to the bar about 8:15. I was by myself because my friend was out on an outing with her daughter. My friend Patrick, had posted on his Facebook page that he would be playing at Vino Veritas and I said that I would attend. I sat at the Southern end of the bar and had a glass of wine while Patrick prepared to play. There were a few patrons in the bar, including Dan, the owner, who is recovering from hernia surgery. There were two brothers there whom I have talked to before. When I first came in one was on the phone and the other was sitting at the bar. I’ve spoken to them before, so I spoke again.
Patrick played his first set and a few more patrons came in. Later, a woman that I have always thought was really attractive came and sat in the North corner with the owner and we greeted each other with a wave. Happy hour is at 10 o'clock so some people came in later. A couple that I remembered from some days earlier were there: the guy is short and wears baseball caps all of the time and the girl is taller and a really striking blond with a great body. I never talk to them.
A guy I always talk to walked in spoke to the owner. I walked over and spoke to him. My goal and my end resultwas to talk to an older friend of mine. His name is Don and he is a Vietnam Vet. He sells vapor cigarettes, but he soon left and I sat at the bar enjoying my drink and the atmosphere when Patrick started his second set.
Later, two women came in and I gave one of them my seat. I walked got my tab and walked away to give it to the bartender. I was standing very near the entrance when the patron with the striking girl friend came through the door. He hit me with the door very hard. The proper thing for me to do would have been to say, “Excuse me” and walk away. However, I said, “Seriously”. The patron then told me that I was standing two inches from the door and that I should move. He never mentioned me touching his girl friend.
I got angry. I was probably already angry, but he getting in my face just made me angrier and I got back in his face and told him not to talk to me that way. We were separated by the owner and he told me to pay my tab and leave and I said, “I paid my tab ”. I walked out to my car and sat for a long time. I thought about what had happened and my background is that when I am treated unfairly, I need to stand up for myself. I walked back in and sat at my original seat. I did not talk to anyone and I did not touch anyone. I admit that I was angry. When Patrick finished his final song, I walked out to where the guy with the hat was standing. I was on one side of a railing and he was on the other. I looked at him and stretched out my arms. The owner came out and yelled at me and that intensified my anger. He said I grabbed some girls behind. I never hit, touched or pushed anyone. I yelled at him and used the “f” word. I am African American and the girl friend is white. Again, I never punched, pushed or touched anyone until I was touched.
The next thing I know I was rushed by patrons from the bar. One of the brothers was pushing me and telling me I had to leave. Someone else grabbed my arms. I tried to push back and the brother in the white shirt punched me twice in the face. I later realized that it was his brother who was holding my arms and he began to choke me until I went to the ground.
I called the police. They came within a few minutes. They took my statement and they eventually took theirs. The officer came back and told me what they said, including the statement that I touched some girl’s ass and that there was video tape. They asked if I wanted to press charges and I said yes. They gave me a citation and a ride home. I can’t wait to see that video tape.