Police arrested two bouncers from the Zelo Restaurant and Nightclub after they allegedly beat an unruly patron early Tuesday morning.
Justin Bedolla, 21, and Carlos Guzman, 34, were charged with assault with a deadly weapon after they allegedly struck Pablo Ramirez, 22, repeatedly with their flashlights in an effort to keep him from reentering the club on State Street. Sgt. Ed Olsen, Santa Barbara City Police Dept. watch supervisor, said before Ramirez was beaten, he had been kicked out of the bar for causing a disturbance and hitting one of the bouncers on the forehead with a beer bottle.
“The bouncers forcibly ejected him from the building into the street, where [Ramirez] became more agitated,” Olsen said.
According to police reports, a scuffle ensued outside.
When police arrived, Ramirez was lying on his back and appeared to be bleeding from his nose. He was wheezing when he breathed and was fading in and out of consciousness after being “beaten pretty badly,” Olsen said. Bedolla and Guzman were taken into custody about 1:30 a.m Tuesday. They have since posted bail and been released.
“There was a lot of blood on the sidewalk and both bouncers were covered in blood,” Olsen said. “You just can’t keep beating a person like that. Granted, some situations do escalate very rapidly.”
Olsen said Ramirez was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where he was admitted to the intensive care unit and given a CAT scan.
A representative from Zelo’s, who refused to give his name, said the establishment has never had an incident like this before, and six separate witness reports gathered from patrons, employees and passersby all corroborate that Bedolla and Guzman acted within reason to protect customers from an out-of-control drunk.
He said that after any such incident, security staff is retrained. He said he believes Bedolla and Guzman will be vindicated of the charges filed against them, and that they plan to file their own assault charges against Ramirez for injuries they sustained in the scuffle.