ATLANTIC CITY — Police are trying to identify several security guards videotaped kicking and punching two patrons outside the 40/40 Club early Saturday morning.
DJ Zeke, who was celebrating his 25th birthday at the club, captured the fight on his cell phone and posted it on YouTube. Police were provided with a copy, Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.
“There will definitely be charges” against the security guards involved, McMenamin said of the attack.
The brawl began when the two Neptune, Monmouth County, men — Tyrell Durant and Leonard Clark — started causing trouble inside the nightclub co-owned by well-known rapper Jay-Z, according to complaints the club manager and a security guard signed against the two.
Security guard David Gulley, of Brooklyn, N.Y., told police Durant, 26, struck him in the face. Manager Carlos Lopez, of Hoboken, Hudson County, also said Durant ripped his collar during the struggle. In a separate complaint, security guard Ivan Ramos, of Ocean City, charges Clark, 25, punched him.
But whatever happened inside, things apparently took a turn in the parking lot, according to the video captured by DJ Zeke, who would not give his real name. There are two DJ Zekes. The other is NBA star and coach Isiah Thomas’ son.
The tape starts with Clark already on the ground getting kicked, with about 10 men dressed in matching dark pants and caps surrounding him. They appear to be security guards, several in shirts with “event staff” or “security” printed across the back.
Durant then punches one of the men, causing the group to turn its attention to him. Three men punch him immediately in the head as the rest gather around. The battle continues around a car with Durant in the middle of the pack of almost a dozen men. In the background, it appears that Clark has gotten up and is walking behind the fray, when one of the security guards breaks away and smacks him.
“It’s egregious,” McMenamin said. “Just so over the top. It looks horrible. We’re lucky they weren’t hurt more seriously.”
Ambulance crews treated Durant at the scene after he was allegedly sprayed with a fire extinguisher. He also told police officers that the guards took his watch and money.
“We came down to Atlantic City to have a good time, not to have the crap beat out of us,” Durant told The Associated Press on Monday. “We did not do anything to deserve this.”
Durant and Clark are charged with disorderly conduct as a result of the complaints, but “we did not charge them,” McMenamin said.
A 40/40 Club spokesperson declined comment.
Police are now trying to identify the men in the video and are asking for the public’s help. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234, or Detective Thomas Holton at 609-347-5766.
DJ Zeke said he was standing outside the club/lounge/sports bar, on the ramp leading to a Caesars Atlantic City parking garage, when “I saw the bouncers spray a man in the face with a fire extinguisher while they kicked him out of the club,” he told The Press of Atlantic City on Monday.
Zeke posted the 45-second fight on YouTube, under the title “Behind the Scenes with DJ Zeke Brutal Bouncer Attack at the 40/40 club in Atlantic City.”
Zeke filmed an introduction to the footage. It shows him sitting on the sofa in his apartment.
“Just came back from the 40/40 Club, Atlantic City, and it was jumpin’,” he says. “But behind the scenes, in the back of 40/40, was a different story.”
Next, he calls out to the club’s celebrity co-owner.
“Jay-Z, if you see this, you should be ashamed of your security team,” he says, “because they’re lackluster, unprofessional and they’re not even human.”
The rapper and partners Desiree Gonzalez and Juan Perez opened the 40/40 Club in October 2005. The origin of the bar’s concept refers to the 40-40 club term in baseball that denotes players who hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in one season — only Jose Canseco in 1988, Barry Bonds in 1996, Alex Rodriguez in 1998, and Alfonso Soriano in 2006 have accomplished it.
At the 40/40 Club’s opening, Jay-Z had said, “We wanted to convey a message of exclusivity. ... It’s a place for people to come and enjoy themselves in a mature fashion.”
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