Ernie Biggs owner 'embarrassed' after multiple ABC violations, recent incident
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
The majority owner of Ernie Biggs said he feels embarrassed to have had multiple ABC Violations after not having one since 2008.
Video from December 29, 2015 was released this week following an Alcohol Beverage Control hearing. The video shows a former Ernie Biggs bouncer throwing a customer out of the bar.
According to circuit court documents filed this week, 21-year-old Brandon Griffin paid a performing piano player $20 to accompany the pianist on drums. During a song, the piano player said he was "not keeping the beat," so the pianist gave Griffin his money back.
"He attempted to take some money off the pianos, he threw the drum sticks at one of the other piano players. He kicked the drum, basically he needed to go," said Ernie Biggs majority owner, Daniel Bryant.
The video obtained by Channel 7 shows bouncer Michael Scott Tice, 43, then throw Griffin out of the bar. Griffin hit his rear end then his head on the sidewalk.
Civil lawsuit documents state Griffin suffered brain bleeding from hitting the ground, causing him to lose his sense of smell and taste, along with some memory loss and cognitive deficiencies.
In an interview on Friday, Bryant told Channel 7 News, "no matter what a customer does we [Ernie Biggs] would never want anyone to be hurt." Bryant added that Tice called police, and once an ambulance arrived at the bar, Griffin refused medical attention.
According to district court documents Tice was charged with felony battery on January 12, 2016.
"He was basically terminated on the spot," said Bryant.
Bryant faced another incident on Wednesday when he told Channel 7 News a woman cut her knee on a broken beer bottle after a "scuffle." One of the more than 30 security cameras at Ernie Biggs caught the woman having her ID checked twice at the door by two different people before being allowed in. Bryant said the date she told police and medical authorities wasn't the same on her ID. As of Friday, she's being considered an adult.
"As embarrassing as it is for me personally, and for the bar to have trouble like this - it's embarrassing for us as a neighbor. The River Market has come a long way," said Bryant.
ABC enforcement director Boyce Hamlet said Ernie Biggs has been fined a total of $2,200 for violations, and they're facing suspension from 7 a.m. on May 12 to 7 a.m. on May 24, and they'll be under a watchful eye.
Bryant said Ernie Biggs would likely close for the two weeks in May if they don't appeal. If they do appeal, it will be because closing Ernie's for two weeks would be "financially hard on the staff."
"We're really going to do our best to make sure this is the last time anything like this happens," said Bryant.
Griffin's attorney didn't reply to requests for comment before the airing of this story.