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What Really Happened at DNA Lounge on Halloween?

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On the evening of November 3rd Kron 4 ran the story “VIDEO: Woman put in chokehold by security guard at SF nightclub“.  If the Kron4 video below does not render, you can watch the entire video and read about it here at kron4.com.

Kron 4 VIDEO Coverage:


Below is the DNA LOUNGE security camera video and explanation of what happened at DNA Lounge on the Saturday of Halloween weekend in San Francisco.  The statements below are directly from a DNA Lounge spokesperson.

VIA – DNA LOUNGE:

On the evening of Saturday, October 29, an overly-intoxicated woman was told she could not enter our premises. She repeatedly harassed staff members, screaming at and striking several of them and refusing all attempts at de-escalation. After the third time in which she violently struck a staff member and it became apparent that she would not leave, she was restrained while the police were called.”

DNA LOUNGE Security Footage Saturday, October 29

“After having assaulted and injured two of our staff members, two of our security staff can be seen escorting the woman dressed as Raggedy Ann from the building in the video at 0:00:10 (upper left corner). You can then see her swinging at people unprovoked. By 0:00:55, security had gotten her outside and had disengaged.

Having been escorted down the street to the North, past the DNA property line, she turned around and marched back toward DNA Lounge yelling about how outraged she was over being removed. She walked directly up to Security_1, who was by this time standing at the Above DNA door, and attacked her a second time, this time clawing at her left eye just below the tear duct. Security_2 instinctively pushed back at this surprise attack.

The woman was wildly swinging at staff and other bystanders. Security_4 attempted to separate her from our staff. The woman walked away briefly, then came back and struck multiple staff members again.

You can see this in the video at 0:01:18, where she scuffles with someone, patrons and security intervene, then disengage. By 0:01:46, she appears to have calmed down, and at 0:02:13, she walks off camera (bottom right). At 0:02:41, she rushes back and slaps Security_2.

After the third time she walked away and returned to again choose violence, it was clear that de-escalation was not possible with this person, so Security_4 and Security_5 attempted to restrain her physically. She kicked Security_5 in the testicles, at which point the two of them took her to the ground and held her down.

While attempting to restrain her, Security_4 was punched in the face multiple times, and bruised.

While this drama was unfolding, the woman began screaming that she was being choked and couldn’t breathe, which was absolutely false. As you can see in her own video, she is being secured with an arm across the top of her chest and hands on her shoulder to prevent pressure on her throat or constriction of her breathing.

Eventually SFPD arrived, took custody of the woman and the male assailant, took statements and continued to clear the scene.

Paramedics arrived, checked our staff member who had been knocked unconscious during the scuffle, and released him.

And even after all of this, when SFPD asked our assaulted and injured staff members if they wanted to press charges, they declined. They just wanted these people gone, and to get back to their jobs and their lives.

After having been released by SFPD, she and the other assailant finally left. Or so we thought.

The club closed at around 2:30 AM. Staff have a little more work to do after the customers leave, but at 3:15 AM, as it came time for them to go home, they discovered that the woman and several of her friends had returned to DNA Lounge and were waiting outside. Our staff left as a group, escorting and driving each other to their respective cars.

Since this incident, and the online drama that the woman’s lies have drummed up, lies which were amplified by KRON 4, one of our staff members (who wasn’t even involved in any of this) has been harassed on the street. And another was recognized as DNA staff and was physically attacked, and injured, in Oakland.

For those of you who took this woman’s claims at face value, we understand why you did. Hopefully, it is clear now what really happened here. DNA Lounge has a fantastic staff, who acted appropriately and with remarkable restraint and composure in the face of a violently out-of-control person. They regularly put themselves in harm’s way to keep the rest of our customers safe. We are proud of our staff, and yet because of this person’s antics and online lies, we still find ourselves fearing for their safety. We hope that those responsible for amplifying these lies and endangering our staff step forward as rapidly to set the record straight. We also hope those of you that contributed to this woman’s GoFundMe can get a refund.”

DNA LOUNGE ALSO WROTE:

“Our staff are trained to de-escalate and disengage. Usually getting a difficult patron outside is all that it takes; after a little while, they calm down and go away. Everybody wins. It is repeatedly drilled into our staff that restraining a patron and calling the police is the last possible option, and must be avoided until all other options have been exhausted. In this case, despite repeated attempts, a patron would not stop physically attacking staff, and outside intervention was deemed necessary.

Nobody is comfortable watching a video of someone being restrained, especially when it involves a woman or black person or in this case both, but we stand by the staff members involved in this incident who did everything they could to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including staff, bystanders and the two people who assaulted them.

For clarity, it was the point at which she punched a female staff member in the face that the woman in question was restrained.

For those of you watching the video that is making the rounds, our staff member can be seen clearly keeping both hands on this woman’s shoulder with the intention of minimizing movement. At no point is the arm across her compressing her neck or restricting her airflow. At no point was this woman unresponsive as she is now claiming. Our staff members had every reason to believe that if she was released, she would immediately become violent again, further escalating the incident.

While it is unfortunate that this occurred, and it was an awful experience for everyone involved, we support the decisions our staff had to make during a very difficult situation.”

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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1 Comment

  1. November 5, 2022 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    In short: someone drunk went to the club, acted like an idiot, and was harmlessly restrained – NOT choked – to de-escalate the situation.
    Said drunk idiot didn’t learn from it, so decided to blame the venue by lying.
    The venue reveals the truth, but everyone quick to side with the liar is hesitant to backtrack.

    As a Black man proud to support the DNA Lounge (one who knows all too well how fucked up cops are), I’ll be glad when the club can put this past them and forget how a liar dragged their name through the mud and made things tougher for Black folks with legit complaints about threats against our lives.

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