Allentown, PA – Allentown police are investigating a fight that took place outside a night club early Sunday morning, after a viral cell phone video showed a security guard punching a man and knocking him to the ground (video below).
Many of social media are blaming the police, mistaking the security guard for a police officer.
Popular video site World Star Hip Hip even shared the video telling people it was a police officer.
The video did not show the events that led up to the altercation but did show the uniformed security guard as he stormed towards a crowd standing in the crosswalk of an intersection outside the View Lounge, WCAU reported.
“Suck this d–k, n—-a,” the security guard said, just before he shoved a man dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt.
The guard then punched the man in the face, knocking him to the ground, the video showed.
“What’s up? What’s up?” the guard yelled, as he circled back behind the crowd. “Who’s next?”
Several witnesses rolled the injured man onto his back as other guards arrived at the scene. At least one of them held a baton in his hand.
“This n—–a knocked him out for no reason!” a woman yelled. “The n—-a didn’t even do nothin!”
The injured man, identified by his family as 26-year-old Alex Renovales, was taken to Reading Hospital by his friends, The Morning Call reported.
According to the family, Renovales suffered fractures to his eye socket, cheek bone, skull, and nose, and will need to undergo surgery.
Allentown police arrived at the scene of the altercation at approximately 4:30 a.m., but no one came forward to tell them about the fight with the security guard, The Morning Call reported.
After officers viewed cell phone footage of the incident, they urged anyone with information to contact the station.
Allentown Police Captain Charles Roca told the news outlet that the uniformed security guard seen in the video was not a police officer.
“We have to investigate it fully, not just go by the video,” Capt. Roca said. “We’re going to need the victim or person in the video to come in and make a report.”
Renovales’ mother, Doris Echevarria, subsequently contacted the police department, and said that investigators will interview her son once he is released from the hospital.
According to Renovales’ sister-in-law, Deyaneira Gonzalez, the group had gone to the nightclub on Saturday evening.
Gonzalez said that one of the security guards at the club “had attitude” while the group was waiting for the rest of their party to arrive, and that a conflict erupted when they went to leave.
She said that Renovales had told the guard that another person in his party did not want to fight, at which point the guard assaulted him.
According to Gonzalez, the guard also deployed pepper spray, hitting two women in the crowd.
She said her group was still at the scene when Allentown police arrived, but did not explain why they did not tell the officers about the altercation.
Numerous incidents have taken place inside and outside the View Lounge in the past, The Morning Call reported.
In 2017, the city council passed a nuisance abatement ordinance with the intention of shutting down establishments such as the View Lounge, which cannot legally serve alcohol, because they cannot be monitored by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement.
The View Lounge was the first club the city targeted with the ordinance, but the effort to close down the business was ultimately dropped after the club’s owners filed a lawsuit against the city.
In the lawsuit, the club alleged that the ordinance was unconstitutional, and an improper exercise of law enforcement authority.
You can watch footage of the altercation in the video below: