Nightspot's license could be revoked


POSTED: Sunday, July 26, 2009

Repeated accusations of assault have been leveled against the bouncers of a popular Waikiki nightspot, and the Honolulu Liquor Commission has twice sided with the patrons.

The Shack Waikiki, which opened in August in the Waikiki Trade Center, received at least four complaints of bouncer violence between November and April.

In one case the panel could not decide. A fourth complaint is pending.

The commission could revoke the bar's license if there are too many violations, said Commission Administrator Dewey Kim.

On Thursday the commission split 2-2 in a case from January, when a 250-pound bouncer forcefully ejected a 125-pound woman. The case was dropped.

“;We couldn't decide completely one way or another,”; said Dennis Enomoto, commission chairman.

Bar owner Brendan Burchfiel had little to say after the hearing.

“;Everything is positive,”; he said. “;I just want to move forward.”;

Burchfiel had said the bar wasn't aware that it was facing citations until months after the incidents, preventing the bar from considering immediate corrections.

Since its first fine for assault in April, the bar has installed new cameras, hired a security consultation company and started a procedure for more detailed reporting of incidents, he said.

In the hearing on the third case last week, Deputy Prosecutor Tricia Nakamatsu said a security video of the January incident was worth “;a thousand words”; and showed the bouncer “;dumped (the woman) on her head.”;

The victim did not appear at the hearing because she feared for her safety, Nakamatsu said.

In the video, the bouncer picks up the woman in a bear-hug, carries her about 10 feet and drops her. The woman falls backwards and apparently hits her head outside the camera's view.

Clint Cazimero, the bouncer in the video, said the woman ignored the rules by not allowing him to place a band on her wrist. When he told her couldn't let her in, she walked around him.

Cazimero grabbed her by the waist and carried her out.

“;I just let her go,”; he said. “;I didn't throw her at all.”;

Investigator Kyle Nobriga acknowledged the woman had been drinking before entering the bar but called the bouncer's reaction “;aggressive.”;

“;The licensee's employee's conduct ... was both violent and unlawful,”; he said.

Matt Chung, the attorney for the bar, said Cazimero legally used lawful force to evict the woman because she was already drunk.

The bar has been fined $1,000 twice this year for the same violation: failing to prevent violent conduct.

On July 2 the bar was found guilty of a February assault: A man was kicked by an employee of the bar while on the ground in front of a police officer.

In the first case, a man said the bar's bouncers inexplicably attacked him in the club and broke his jaw in November. The bar pleaded no contest in April.