S4 assault victim criticizes Caven response

Posted on 08 May 2008 at 8:39pm
By John Wright

Man hurt in headbutting questions why club’s staff failed to call 911, but company issues statement saying employees acted appropriately

A man who was the victim of an aggravated assault inside Station 4 is accusing the gay nightclub of mishandling the incident.

Stephen Cox, 38, of Dallas said he suffered a concussion and a 2-inch-long gash to his forehead that required stitches when he was headbutted by an unknown person at S4 around 2:30 a.m. on Monday, April 28.

Cox, who was driven to the emergency room by his boyfriend after the incident, filed a police report three days later, on May 1. Cox questioned why S4 staff failed to call 911 at the time of the incident. He also accused representatives from the nightclub’s owner, Caven Enterprises, of failing to respond to his attempts to contact them since the incident.

"I don’t blame Caven for what happened," Cox said. "They didn’t have any control over some random patron doing what he did. My frustration lies in the fact that they did a horrible job of handling the situation."

A spokesman for Caven Enterprises, Rick Espaillat, said in a statement Thursday, May 8, that emergency services were offered to Cox by S4 staff, as is the company’s procedure. Espaillat also said S4 staff spent an hour with Cox after the incident, during which time they tried to locate the suspect using the information he gave them.

"We consider public safety to be the most critical issue for our business and our neighborhood," Espaillat’s statement read in part. "While we sincerely regret that any injury occurred, we are confident that our team provided the necessary attention and acted appropriately given the situation and the information that they had to work with."

Espaillat’s statement also appeared to dispute Cox’s claim that Caven representatives have failed to return his phone calls.

Cox said he’s called the company’s offices several times, and even gone there once in person, in an attempt to get more information about the incident.

"Since the incident occurred we have been in contact with Mr. Cox and we intend to work with him and the Police Department to resolve this issue, and to prevent any similar incidents from occurring in the future," Espaillat’s statement said.

Cox said he and his boyfriend, 26-year-old Clark Ransom, were walking off the dancefloor toward the bathroom at S4 when a stranger approached him and grabbed him by the shoulders.

The suspect headbutted him between the eyes, then quickly fled the area, Cox said.

Cox said the nightclub was crowded and dark, and neither he nor his boyfriend, who was walking in front of him, got a good look at the suspect.

Cox speculated that the suspect — whom he described as a white male possibly in his mid-20s — had mistaken him for someone else or was under the influence drugs.

"It was like being broadsided by a car, and I was gushing blood really bad, and it needed immediate medical attention," Cox said. "I really do not have a good description of the person. I would love to know if anybody saw what happened that evening."

Cox and Ransom said S4 staff told Ransom to get their vehicle to take Cox to the hospital.

Ransom took Cox to the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center.

Cox said he spent six hours at the hospital being treated and underwent a CT scan to check for further injuries.

Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for the Dallas Police Department, said Wednesday, May 7, said the case has been assigned to a detective. But Janse said the detective had not yet begun the investigation.

Janse said the fact that no one called 911 will make it more difficult for police to identify witnesses or locate a suspect.

"That’s something that we would have wished would have happened," Janse said.
"Now we’ve got our backs against the wall."
 




This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 9, 2008.

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