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Mike Pereira co-owns a recording studio in Golden Hill, but he used to work as a bouncer. “I worked for ten years in security [at clubs] in Miami and here in San Diego, and I never carried pepper spray. And if I had, I never would have used it in a nonviolent situation.”

On April 4, pepper spray was used on him at U-31 in North Park.

“It was a Friday dance night. It was my fourth time there. The security was completely hostile.… A friend accidentally knocked over the ashtray out front. As soon as he did, the main security guard grabbed him by the neck and forced him to pick up the ashtray. The guy that knocked it over said, ‘You didn’t have to grab me.’ ”

Pereira admits that he verbally engaged the guard at that point.

“He says, ‘Shut the fuck up…I make more money than you.’ I said, ‘Is that why you’re standing by the door checking my ID? Is that where you get all your money from?’ He tells me he has an $80,000 car parked around the corner. I asked him if he had a small penis to go along with the $80,000 car. That must have hit home because he told me to shut up or he was gonna spray me with pepper spray. So I said, ‘If you want to spray me, go ahead and spray me. Do it.’ ”

Bad idea.

“So he sprayed me point blank in the face and the guy next to me point blank in the face. While I’m trying to open my eyes, a full-on brawl broke out. I saw two of the biggest bouncers on the smallest guy in the club. I saw one of them kick him in the head. People were rolling around in the middle of University.”

Pereira says he asked to file charges against the bouncer.

“When the cops showed up, they told me if they arrested the bouncer they would also have to arrest me. I asked him why…I didn’t do anything. I was completely nonviolent. He told me the security guard had a cut on his face and it was swelling and it was because of whatever it was I said to him.”

Pereira admits that the bouncer did get hit in the face by his friend after the guard sprayed them.

“Nobody touched security until he sprayed the pepper spray. The reaction was purely self-defense.… I didn’t want to go to jail for whatever it was the kid did to him, so I left.”

U-31 owner Steve Billings did not respond to a request for comment. U-31 manager Erica Jessup would not comment.

“It was a total lack of self-control for someone in a position of authority,” says Pereira. “I’ve been smelling it for three days. It’s in my sinuses.”

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Comments

JJ April 16, 2008 @ 9:25 p.m.

Jesus H. Christ, this is an outrage. U-31 and their jerkoff bouncers can go to hell. They won't ever see another dime from me, that's for sure. Furthermore, I'm going to make sure that everyone I know is aware of this BS, and that they should steer clear as well.

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sdn8tv April 17, 2008 @ 12:31 a.m.

This represents the general attitude of the SDPD. They would rather arrest everyone than actually get some witness statements and do the right thing. If this happens to anyone, you demand that the officers give you an incident number and or request a supervising sergeant.

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mrtboner April 18, 2008 @ 4:23 p.m.

If they pepper spray a nice guy like Mike they'll probably shoot a jerk like me. I'd like to know that this bouncer was fired so I can feel safe walking past U-31

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Josh Board April 21, 2008 @ 12:46 a.m.

I went there to see Steph Johnson perform, and the bouncers were cool.

Hey...bouncers at a place called Rookies in Oceanside. I was there watching the fights on Saturday before I went to some parties. They were super cool.

It seems most bouncers and security are nice, if you treat them with respect. I'm just sayin'.

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voicorzn Nov. 27, 2008 @ 12:56 p.m.

How about patrons that provoke security, staff and other patrons then play victim when they get whats coming to them? Or the age of widespread MMA, when every meathead is learning lethal martial arts techniques and then testing it at the bar on friday night (also a great combination with steroids)? How about drunk people who have no concepts of boundaries and personal space? Im not saying anything justifies bouncer brutality, but things can get pretty tense, especially when outnumbered. It all comes down to mutual respect, from the staff and from the patrons. If you cant control your alcohol, dont drink. If you cant control your temper dont bounce.

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pike44 Dec. 5, 2008 @ 3:56 p.m.

I agree that the bouncer had no right to put his hands on a patron for knocking over an ashtray. However as someone in the industry I have to make two statements. 1. Two or more people running their mouths at a bouncer seems a little aggressive. I agree pepper spray is for hack-doormen but if you expect a bouncer to control his temper common sense and courtesy says you should control your mouth. 2. When you visit a club or bar you should always scout the security before the first drink. On the way in the door say hello. If a bouncer acts like the tough guy moron that is stereotypical of bouncers, go elsewhere. Even if you don't end up in an incident who needs some shaved ape mad dogging you all night. A good bouncer is 3 parts customer service and one part security.

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