A Yates doorman has been suspended while police investigate claims he targeted a mentally ill young man, grabbing him by the throat and lifting him off the ground before dragging him out.
The young man, Jason Matthews, says he had first encountered the doorstaff at the pub in West Street, Brighton, a few weeks ago when they told him to leave because he was crying, and he told them he has bipolar disorder.
Last month, he returned there and says he was told by doorstaff to leave because of his clothes – but his girlfriend claims she had heard the bouncers pointing him out as “the one with mental issues”.
It was after this that Jason says he was physically attacked, leaving him with both physical injuries and a deterioration in his mental health.
Jason said: “My friend told me she had heard them saying “he’s the one with mental issues”. The staff came up to me and told me to leave based upon my clothes.
“There were others around wearing similar clothes, and there was a drunk man being aggressive to a girl I know but they ignored this.
“They instead singled me out, and said after what happened next that they “remembered me”.
“After being told to leave, I said no there’s no grounds to ask me. I wasn’t drunk. I had had one beer and one sours shot.
“After standing up for myself, without touching the staff at all, they grabbed my neck, pressured my throat and pushed my feet off the ground damaging my arm and ribs on the left side, and with great force dragged me out.
“I was terrified. I am small build and not very strong. Not only did I sustain physical injuries, but mentally have been severely set back, despite recently making progress after a suicide attempt and being admitted to Millview hospital for an extended stay.
“I was traumatised, and I feel I need to make sure people know and something is done because I’m deeply concerned other mental health sufferers on any other vulnerable person could be affected by these type of door staff, who use violence and are ignorant to many types of people in the general public.”
As well as complaining to Yates, Jason also contacted the police, who are currently investigating his allegations.
A spokeswoman for Yates said: “The safety of our customers is of paramount importance and we are working closely with all parties involved to rectify the situation.
“A full investigation is now underway and we can confirm that the security guard in question has been temporarily removed from the premises pending investigation.”
A police spokesman said: “Police were called just after 10pm on Friday night (24 February) by a 24-year-old local man who alleges he was assaulted by a member of door staff in Yates nightclub in West Street, Brighton.
“Enquiries into this incident continue at this time.”
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