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.’ ”
“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.”