It’s not a party until a 14-year-old gets Tasered and a 90-year-old stand-up bass gets crushed. On Friday night at Walter’s in Houston, a police officer responding to a noise complaint allegedly went Altamont on Two Gallants’ ass without provocation. Houston Chronicle reports:
Exactly how ? and why ? it all started depends on whom you ask.
Officer G.M. Rodriguez approached management about the noise complaint, filed by a neighbor, and the volume was turned down ? but that as the officer was leaving, the volume went back up, said HPD’s Sgt. Nate McDuell.
He said Rodriguez then went on stage and approached guitar player Adam Stephens, one of two members in the laid-back country rock band, the Two Gallants.
McDuell said Stephens, whose guitar was hanging from a neck strap, then used a sexual obscenity and shoved the officer with his shoulder.
McDuell said the officer then tried to arrest Stephens for assault and forced him to the stage floor of the stage.
Stephens, a 25-year-old from San Francisco, said that is “absolutely” not what happened.
Stephens said he was sideways and singing on the stage just before he turned around and saw the officer, who then shined a flashlight at him and said, “Stop.”
Stephens, who denied shoving the officer, said he responded, “Why?”
He said the officer moved closer to him and yelled, “Stop!”
Stephens said he again asked why and that the officer then grabbed him by the neck and forced him to the floor.
Accounts vary, but apparently several people then charged the stage, there was a lot of pushing and shoving, and the officer called for backup.
HPD’s McDuell said several people were grabbing the officer from behind when he felt someone grab his pistol.
At some point during the incident, the officer removed a cartridge from his Taser, so that it would discharged “dry stuns,” which are used for “close contact combat,” McDuell said. He said the officer used the Taser three times.
Meanwhile, about six patrol cars arrived at the scene.
Rodriguez suffered bruises and cuts on his arms, at least four people were arrested, a valuable bass was broken. A tall, slender 14-year-old with shoulder-length hair was Tasered, and a University of Houston sociology student doing a “field paper on the music scene” also was Tasered.
Stephens, who left the scene and was not arrested, said he was Tasered twice in the stomach and that the officer was “out of control.”
“He was extremely violent form the start,” Stephens said. “It was frightening.”
McDuell said the officer’s approach was commendable and that it was fortunate that he used a Taser instead of a weapon.
“An officer gets attacked by dozens of people in a club who have been drinking,” McDuell said. “If anything, the officer was abused.”
More than one audience member captured some of the melee on video. This MySpacer has a personal account of the night, with pics (including the ones above) and video. His friend Greg was arrested:
“the previous video ends with the cop knocking the camera out of greg’s hands. this video begins after greg has picked the camera up and turned it back on. the cop is now pushing greg all around the club. you hear the cop telling greg to sit down. what you do not see is that the cop has his tazer out and is charging at greg with it. greg can not stop (to sit down) or he will most likely be tazered in the chest. eventually the cop pushed him into langhorne slim’s equipment where he lands on the stand up base [sic]…”
Bummer. As for Two Gallants, the band posted on its blog last night, “The show will go on.”
thank you everyone for your support with the austin incident. the band is ok…
That’s supposed to say the “Houston incident.” Please excuse the rocker’s faux-pas, as it was probably the most frightening Friday the 13th of his life.
UPDATE: The band made another MyStatement Sunday evening.
adam and tyson want to apologize for the show in Houston at Walter’s on Washington being cut short on Friday Oct 13. some of the mainstream sources have been inaccurate so we want to thank all of you who have emailed offering your support and eyewitness accounts of what really happened. you can read some of these and see some images (and/or send in what you saw) on the forum, or this myspace page, and this one too. the band will speak more about this in the next few days as they have been advised not to comment much at this point.
While you’re at Two Gallants’ MySpace, download “Las Cruces Jail” and “Nothing To You.” We could’ve sworn these tunes were not available as free MP3s earlier this morning. But, when life gives you Tasers…