City Desk

Tased and Confused

If you're a burgeoning nightspot, it's not a good idea to electrocute customers.

Layla Lounge, located at 501 Morse Street NE, promises that it's the "newest, sexiest, hottest club in D.C." Before March 21, Leah Davis might have agreed. That's the day the 4'11" Davis says a 6'3" male bouncer zapped her an excruciating three times for no good reason.

Davis, a businesswoman, told her story of electroshock Wednesday, before the board of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. Afterward, she told it again to City Desk.

Davis says she and her sister, Jacqualyn Davis, were casually making their way out of Layla Lounge that Sunday night when a bouncer grabbed her sibling's arm—roughly. "It didn't make any sense why he was touching my sister," Davis says. So she stepped in: "Don't touch her!"

The next thing Davis knew, she says, the bouncer fired some sort of shock device into her neck. She believes she got three jolts and that she retains nerve damage as a result. Davis was surprised by how things had escalated. "It didn't make any sense," she says.

Though Davis and court documents refer to the weapon used as a Taser, those devices generally fire small darts. Davis doesn't remember that happening, so she might have encountered a stun gun, instead. Stun guns and Tasers incapacitate their victims with an electric current and are banned in the District except to law enforcement.

Layla Lounge General Manager Lori P. Vasquez says that, as far as the lounge knows, no one from their security team had a Taser or anything like it that night.

The details of what allegedly transpired will be explored further. The board has recommended a second hearing, and Davis is suing. She's retained lawyer Jimmy Bell, who you may remember from another recent suit. She's asking for $1 million for the trauma.

In order to prevail, Bell says he's on the lookout for a key piece of evidence—his client remembers that a guy filmed the whole thing on his phone. "We hope he comes forward," says Bell.

Photo by centralasian via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

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  • Southeast Ken


  • Pingback: Layla Lounge’s Bouncers Are Tasing People Now?! :: The Fab Empire

  • Having been zapped at protests before, I should know! lol

    It could have been a TASER. Most TASER models have a drive stun mode, which is what you're thinking of when you say stun gun.

  • northeast jam

    many places have had grand openings and closings since layla has been in business, so saying it's the "newest" isnt even close to accurate. as a matter of fact, I didnt even know people still went there. not knocking the writer, just whoever is making that claim about the place

  • Mike Licht

    Shouldn't that be "Morse Street NE," not "NW"? I don't believe Morse Street goes to NW. It's near the City Market and Gallaudet.

  • Concerned Christian

    @northeast jam

    The writer of this piece thought that (before editing later) that Morse Street was in Northwest, so I doubt the writer knows a thing about Layla Lounge. Typical Northwest City Paper bias.