"There was an incident that started inside ['Canes] and got carried outside," says Stone Senses sax player Mike Flanagan. He says "a riot" occurred outside the South Mission Beach nightclub on April 28. Irieside, C-Clan, and HB Surround Sound shared the bill with Flanagan's band. "There were two guys who were fighting in the parking lot, and they bumped into this black guy's car. It escalated from there. There were, like, ten black guys, and they just started laying people out. They were, like, 'Who wants some more?' There were three people knocked cold out on the pavement."
Flanagan says about 15 people from inside fought against the 10 in the parking lot.
"I got kicked in the back of the head," says Stone Senses lead singer Eric Castaneda. Two members of a different band got beaten the worst: "Anthony [the lead singer] got thrown down and hit a good number of times. They surrounded Ben [the guitarist], who was on the ground. They kicked him a number of times. His mouth was filled with blood. If we hadn't have rolled him over, he would have suffocated in his blood."
Flanagan says, "I told ['Canes] security there was something going on. They were receptive at first. They walked out about 15 feet and stopped. They stood there and watched everything happen. They didn't do shit. They said anything that happens outside is not their responsibility. I asked them to call the police. They said they could call Belmont [Park] security."
Castaneda says, "I called 911. They put me on hold. I got a voice mail, so I hung up and tried again. It was, like, 25 minutes before the cops showed up...."
SDPD spokesman Dave Cohen says his report shows that police were called at 1:55 a.m. and the first officer arrived at 2:16 a.m. According to the report, there were two men bleeding at the scene, but paramedics (who arrived before the police) were "standing back," which means they withheld treatment because of a dangerous situation. He says the report indicates that there were two men lying on the ground and bleeding but they declined treatment by paramedics and declined to file a police report. No arrests were made.
Lt. Lawrence McKinney says, "The management has a responsibility for maintaining order for a distance of 100 feet around their establishment.... Violations could trigger an investigation regarding their [liquor] license."
Eric Stephenson, 'Canes head of security, said someone did come up and tell him that there was a big fight. "But somebody in the crowd said someone had a gun so we did not proceed any further. We did not want to send our people in harm's way." He said his crew did call police and report the incident and that it was in the south end of the parking lot 150 to 200 yards from the front door. "On a Friday and Saturday night the police don't have the resources. For the most part they are nowhere to be found (around 'Canes). At that time they are in Pacific Beach. Their bigger concern is the bars that are getting out on Garnett."