Man claims his throat was slashed, brother killed at ESL nightclub

Kelly Holleran Oct. 5, 2011, 8:35am


An East St. Louis man claims his throat was slashed and his brother was killed by bouncers at an East St. Louis nightclub.

Aubrey Rice filed a lawsuit Sept. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against City Nights, Reginald O. Allen, Gail Allen and Charles Hurd.

In his complaint, Aubrey Rice alleges he, his brother, Anthony Rice, and two of their friends attempted to enter City Nights on Oct. 3, 2009, when they were confronted by a bouncer at the bar, Reginald Allen, who informed them that they had to pay a $5 admission fee.

Before Aubrey Rice, his brother and his friends were allowed to pay the fee, another bouncer at the bar, Charles Hurd, approached them and told them they were prohibited from entering the club, according to the complaint.

While Aubrey Rice and companions attempted to leave the bar, Reginald Allen, Charles Hurd and other employees at City Nights began to racially harass and insult them, the suit states. Soon, the verbal harassment escalated into physical abuse, the complaint says.

Aubrey Rice claims he and his pals gathered around their vehicle, attempting to leave, when Hurd threw a rock through the windshield of their vehicle. Hurd then threatened Aubrey Rice and his friends with a taser, which he later revealed to be a gun, according to the complaint.

"Thereafter, Defendant Reginald Allen, while operating a F150 truck, struck and killed Mr. Anthony Rice as he stood in the parking lot while his brother, Plaintiff Aubrey Rice watched helplessly," the suit states. "Reginald Allen then proceeded to bring the vehicle around to strike Anthony Rice for a second time and instead collided with a car driven by Aubrey Rice as Aubrey attempted to protect his dying brother."

Following the crash, Aubrey Rice left his vehicle and stood in the parking lot when an employee from City Nights grabbed his head, pulled it back and cut his throat with an unknown object, the complaint says.
Because of the incident, Aubrey Rice claims he suffered physical and emotional injuries, incurred medical costs and suffered undue mental anguish.

He blames City Nights and its owner, Gail Rice, for allowing the incident to occur, saying it negligently hired and retained Reginald Allen and Hurd while knowing of their violent past, failed to properly train its employees and failed to take precautions to prevent Allen's vehicle from colliding with Anthony Rice. In addition, the defendants failed to provide first aid or proper medical care to Anthony Rice following the incident, according to the complaint.

In his eight-count complaint, Aubrey Rice seeks a judgment of more than $400,000, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Michael Gras of the Law Office of Christopher Cueto in Belleville and J. Justin Meehan of the Law Office of J. Justin Meehan in St. Louis will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-549.

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