A GAY man who says he was assaulted by security staff outside a Sydney nightclub popular with the LGBTI community has himself been charged with assault following the incident.
However, ARQ Sydney – where the fracas occurred last week – has said they believe their security staff followed all the “correct procedures and protocols”.
[showads ad=MREC]Joshua Meadows alleged that after midnight last Saturday (August 15), he was refused entry to the nightclub, which is located just off Oxford St in Darlinghurst, after a security guard said he was intoxicated.
In a social media post which he encouraged people to share, Meadows admitted he had consumed alcohol that evening but at the time was “stone-cold sober”.
“I remarked that it was absolutely ridiculous and he should be ashamed of his behaviour,” he wrote.
“The security guard then physically grabbed me and tried to pin me against the wall.”
Meadows said CCTV footage showed he stepped away after “shrugging” the guard’s arms off. He said the guard then pushed him too the ground.
“The next few minutes involved multiple forms of physical assault,” Meadows wrote.
“A man twice my height and three times my weight applied all of it to my spine while I was crushed against the sidewalk.
“My throat is in considerable pain and swallowing is difficult after he made a concerted effort to suffocate me into unconsciousness with his hands, I have lacerations and bruises on both shoulders, my earring plugs were physically pulled out of my piercings, and my jaw is swollen from where I was repeatedly elbowed violently by the guard.”
Meadows posted images online of bruising to his body, which he alleged occurred as a result of the incident.
Police arrived on the scene and arrested Meadows who criticised the officers for, amongst other things, allegedly holding him for longer than legally allowed, refusing to breathalyse him and failing to take statements from witnesses at the scene – one of whom was his boyfriend.
NSW Police told the Star Observer that officers attended an incident around Oxford St at 12.30am that night “after a patron refused to leave the area when he was declined entry into a nightclub”.
“The 30-year-old man then allegedly assaulted two security guards,” police stated.
The man was taken to Surry Hills Police Station where he was charged with two counts of common assault and one count of excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises.
He will face court on September 10.
Police did not answer specific questions regarding Meadows’ allegations but solicitor David Newham told the Star Observer that police can only detain people for four hours for investigative purposes – unless they apply for an extension – but this initial period excludes legal visits or any time the police deem the suspect needs to sober up.
“The police have a duty of care to the person detained and they would not release them, for example, whilst still affected by a substance,” Newham said.
He also said the police were under “no duty whatsoever” to breath-test a person, unless driving a vehicle, and courts will usually accept evidence of someone’s intoxication based on an officer’s visual observations.
He cautioned anyone in a similar situation to not subsequently talk to potential witnesses as this could lead to their evidence being inadmissible and harm their case.
When it came to security staff, Newham said: “It is unlikely they are ever going to change their minds and allow you entry.”
“Simply leave to avoid any form of confrontation,” he added.
The Star Observer has not received a response from ARQ. However, a social media post from the venue said they took the safety of their patrons seriously.
“The procedure by contract security followed the correct procedures and protocols concerning the incident,” it read.
Meadows said while there were “great security guards doing a difficult, stressful and often dangerous job,” some were indulging in “atrocious and dangerous behaviour”.[showads ad=FOOT]