ATLANTIC CITY — Ivan Shaq Ramos knows he’s a big guy.
His 290-pound, 6-foot-tall frame is usually intimidation enough, the veteran bouncer said. But in the early morning hours of Nov. 28, size didn’t work.
Ramos was one of several men working security at the 40/40 Club when a DJ videotaped a brawl outside the club.
“We’re not monsters,” said Ramos, who lost his job along with several others as a result of the tape. “Nobody knows how it started. We were protecting the club. We were protecting the patrons.”
Despite video showing two ousted customers being attacked, he charges that inside the club, it was Bryant Norwood, 27, who started the trouble, harassing female patrons.
A lawsuit Norwood’s attorney said was recently filed tells a different story.
“Mr. Norwood paid $40 at the door to get into the 40/40 Club to have a good time with his friends, but he ended up being kicked out and beaten by club employees,” Freehold-based attorney Thomas J. Mallon wrote in a release. “Fortunately, these bullies didn’t realize that they were caught in the act on video by a passer-by.”
Norwood had arrived with friends Tyrell Durant and Leonard Clark. They were kicked out of the club before 4 a.m. Nov. 28. DJ Zeke captured what happened next on his phone. The video, first posted on YouTube, shows a man — identified as Norwood — on the ground with several guards surrounding him. At least two kick him.
Then Durant punches a guard, focusing the attention of the dozen or so men on him. They surround Durant, trying to get him down, Ramos said. But at one point, a man with braids and a shirt with “security” across the back, breaks through the group and punches Durant in the head several times.
When asked about that, Ramos doesn’t comment.
“I’m not going to talk against the guys I worked with,” he insisted.
The group would meet before work and discuss one aim, he said: “For everybody to get home to their families.”
Now, many will go home for the holidays without jobs, Ramos said.
He lost two. Having returned to the 40/40 after time off, Ramos still had on an “Events Staff” shirt from an earlier job, which Ramos wouldn’t name.
When his boss there saw the video with the shirt clearly displayed, Ramos was fired.
Meanwhile, criminal charges still could be brought against the men involved in the attack. City police still are trying to identify them. The 40/40 Club has not helped in that matter, police previously said.
But Ramos insists the group was doing its job. He admits the situation was not the norm and “escalated,” but said it was the ousted patrons who started the trouble.
Norwood was harassing women as they tried to go to the ladies’ room, Ramos said.
“I had to grab these women out of his hands,” the bouncer said.
He gave Norwood a warning, which was not heeded. But when Ramos and others tried to remove the men, the threats came. Clark then punched Ramos from behind, according to a complaint Ramos filed.
Outside, the threats continued, with someone yelling about getting a gun, Ramos said.
“When you get in a situation like that, the adrenaline does go up,” he said. “But that’s not the norm. That wasn’t our intention for that night. It escalated, but it escalated from what happened (with the patrons) upstairs.”
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