Dickhead Cheney's Secret Service Agents Start Bar Brawl, bites off an eargreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread
San Diego Union-Tribune, March 2, 2002
Remark to woman triggered fight outside bar
Role of four Cheney guards investigated
By Brian Hazle STAFF WRITER
ENCINITAS – Four U.S. Secret Service agents assigned to protect Vice President Dick Cheney last month during his San Diego visit ended up in a street brawl with as many as 15 people outside a popular nightspot.
Sheriff's detectives said yesterday that the melee was triggered by an agent's comments to a woman, but they could not say for certain who started the fight.
The tip of a Carlsbad man's ear was bitten off during the fight, which occurred about 2 a.m. Feb. 19 in front of the Daley Double Saloon on Coast Highway 101.
Detective Sgt. Ron Morse said the incident report was kept secret until yesterday because of the "sensitivity" of the situation. No arrests had been made.
Witnesses gave detectives conflicting accounts of events leading up to the fight.
The Secret Service confirmed in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that some of its agents were attacked outside a nightclub and that the San Diego County Sheriff's Department was investigating. However, it said only two agents were involved and would not identify them. Yesterday, the service refused to answer any questions about the incident.
Morse said it appears that the agents were outnumbered by as many as 15-4. He said they never identified themselves as Secret Service agents or drew their weapons.
One agent told sheriff's deputies that he was wrestling with a bar patron – Zachery Elson, 21 – outside the club when he felt something tugging at the gun strapped to his waist. He said he bit Elson's ear to prevent him from getting the gun.
Elson said in an interview yesterday that the fracas broke out after the agent grabbed him, bit his ear and wrestled him to the ground.
A bouncer at the Daley Double, Butch Hofstetter, said there were people fighting all over the street.
The Secret Service would not say whether the agents are stationed at the San Diego field office or if they were traveling with the vice president. Cheney was in San Diego on Feb. 18 to address Marines at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station – his first trip to California as vice president.
Cheney's office refused to comment yesterday.
The four agents went off duty about 11 p.m. after working a shift connected to Cheney's visit, Morse said. They went to Martini Ranch on Coast Highway 101, then about a half-block south to the Daley Double, known for its antique walnut bar and murals depicting the life of Encinitas pioneers.
Zachery Elson said he was out for beers at the Daley Double with his brother, Joshua Elson, 24, and Shannon Larson, 24.
Larson said in an interview that she was chatting with one agent at the bar when the three others walked up and started making "rude comments." The agent then left.
When the bar closed, Larson said, one agent approached her outside and asked her to join them for a hot-tub party at their hotel. She declined the invitation and walked away, she said.
Zachery Elson said that, moments later, he confronted the agent, who grabbed his shirt, bit off the tip of his ear and threw him to the ground.
"He was on top of me jamming his finger into my eye socket. It all happened so fast, I don't know," Elson said. He later received 12 stitches in his ear at a hospital. The severed tip of his ear was not found.
The agents left before deputies arrived. They were later questioned at a nearby hotel where they were staying.
One of the agents suffered a broken nose and cuts to his lips and may lose two of his front teeth, Morse said. The other agents had minor cuts, scrapes and bruises, he said.
"It was just a bad scenario. There was alcohol involved and (the agents) got caught up in something and they just tried to get out of it," Morse said.
Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin in Washington would not say whether his agency is investigating, whether the four agents are still working, or what procedure the agency follows when agents are involved in such incidents.
Mackin also would not say whether the agents in the fight were the same agents who left a document outlining security plans for Cheney's Feb. 25 appearance at the Winter Olympics in a souvenir shop. The agency acknowledged Wednesday that an agent shopping in Salt Lake City lost the document.
A report on the fight will be filed with the District Attorney's Office next week, Morse said.
-- (Sleaze VP@sleaze.SS agents), March 02, 2002
Fascist repug scum SS Troopers attack citizens
-- (hand firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2002.
Nice to see that Mike Tyson was able to put his talents to use outside the ring.
-- (email@example.com), March 02, 2002.