Woman claims assault by off-duty bar bouncer

An off-duty bouncer is accused of punching a female bar patron repeatedly in the face as she sat in a taxi outside the bar where he worked.

The 19-year-old says she suffered bruising, black eyes and a swollen lip outside a Britomart bar in central Auckland after the bouncer attacked her as she sat in a taxi.

The 1.6m waitress and model said she was punched three times in the face, after earlier having told the man not to touch her when he tried grabbing at her from behind.

She was stunned by the July 6 incident, which left her with a blood nose and severe bruising. Hospital staff initially thought her jaw had been broken.

"I jumped in the cab and the door was open with my legs out. He came around the side of the cab ... I didn't have time to notice ... He struck me and hit me back into my friend. Then he grabbed my shirt and pulled me back up and kept hitting me.

"I was just wet with all this blood."

Her friends and on-duty bouncers dragged the man off, but "he was still trying to kick me as they pulled him away", she said.

The bar owner said the bouncer had not worked at the bar since the alleged incident.

His security boss said the man had not worked at any of the other contracted venues, and his employment was being discussed.

Police have requested CCTV footage, the Britomart precinct's facilities manager confirmed yesterday.

The woman said she and colleagues from a nearby restaurant went to the bar after midnight.

She said the trouble began when she was leaving about 4am, with the off-duty security guard first calling to her, then trying to grab her, before allegedly assaulting her.

It wasn't until she woke up at home later that day that it sank in what had happened.

"I thought it was a dream until my face was really sore and I looked in the mirror. I just looked really fat and I had a fat lip."

She called her mother in Wellington, then her aunt in Auckland, who took her to hospital.

"Staff initially told her she had a fractured jaw, but that was downgraded the following day.

The physical injuries had since faded, but the incident had made her apprehensive about going out and scared of strange men approaching her, she said.

David Mu, the bouncer's employer at Mediate Security which is contracted to several Britomart bars, said the man's alleged behaviour was out of character and unacceptable.

"Not only is it out of character for him but it goes against everything we stand for and believe in as a company."

The bouncer and bar staff reported there may have been some provocation from the woman's companions, Mr Mu said, though that didn't excuse what had occurred.

"Regardless of what was said, it doesn't warrant that behaviour. I've worked long and hard to eradicate that thought process from my employees."

The co-owner of the bar where the man was one of the bouncers said anything "of that nature ... is dealt with very severely. He's obviously no longer working for the business".

- NZ Herald

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