PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are investigating after patrons of the Rooftop at Providence G claim they were assaulted by bouncers outside the establishment.
The incident led to one patron receiving 17 staples in his head at the emergency room, according to a police report, but the establishment denies that the injuries were caused by its security staffers.
Providence Police Maj. David Lapatin said detectives are investigating the incident, and no arrests have been made. He said police plan to bring the matter before the city Board of Licenses in the coming days.
Police say the incident happened after the patrons left the rooftop bar sometime after midnight on Sunday. The three men were asked by security to leave the lobby area, which is downstairs from the bar.
The patrons claim they were “followed and assaulted by several of the nightclub’s security staff,” according to the police report. A patron told police the group was walking down Dorrance Street toward Weybosset Street when they were approached by the security guards, and a verbal altercation ensued.
One patron claimed he was “sucker punched” by a security guard, according to the report, which started the physical fight.
The patrons said they broke free, and realized one patron was “bleeding severely from his head,” and they called an Uber to go to Rhode Island Hospital.
Police were called to the emergency room and observed the lacerations and staples to multiple victims’ heads, according to the report. One victim had 17 staples, and the other had 5 staples to his head and said he could not hear out of one ear that was affected.
The club’s spokesperson, Chris Hunter, strongly disputed the patrons’ claims, writing in a statement that “we believe the characterizations made in the police report are inaccurate.”
“Security staff employed by NES Solutions, an independent contractor, asked three belligerent individuals to leave the first-floor lobby of the ProvidenceG multiple times,” Hunter wrote in a statement. “The individuals continued to escalate the situation outside of the building, where one NES Solutions staffer was sucker punched.”
Surveillance video provided to WPRI 12 does show the three men being escorted out of the lobby by security staff. A second camera, facing Dorrance Street, shows the bouncers following the patrons before the fight breaks out. An awning blocks the camera’s view of some of the altercation.
“The safety of our guests is our number one priority,” Hunter said. “That is why the Providence G has over 50 video cameras and a large presence of NES Solutions professionals. We will continue to advocate for policies to improve the safety and vibrancy of downtown Providence including adding dedicated police walking patrols for the area and improved street lighting.”
Wayne Fantasia, the owner of NES Solutions, also denied the patrons’ version of events.
“The allegations in the report are completely false,” Fantasia said. “Our staff did the best they could to defend themselves.”
The Rooftop was temporarily closed last summer after a stabbing in the parking garage stemming from a dispute that started on the roof, but the violation before the licensing board was dismissed after the bar said it would change its policies about escorting people out of the establishment.