City Desk

Bachelor Party at Camelot Strip Club Ended in Savage Beating, Man Claims

M Street NW strip club Camelot Show Bar has long been a good place to ogle some T&A. But according to one man, patrons there risk being thrown down a staircase, getting viciously beaten, and arrested under false pretenses.

William Thompson was at Camelot on Sept. 4, 2011, at what his lawyers describe as a "bachelor gathering" ahead of his wedding.  Thompson and a few friends had just ordered a set of expensive drinks, his lawyers say, when bouncers tried to push them out ahead of the closing time.

When Thompson protested, one bouncer purportedly picked him up "like a rag doll." But the bouncer lost his balance, according to one of Thompson's attorneys, Thomas E. Lester. When the bouncer fell, the other bouncers assumed that Thompson had attacked him, the lawsuit says, and allegedly started stomping and beating on the helpless bachelor.

After that, they allegedly threw him down a set of stairs. But, because the stairwell's gate was locked, Thompson's suffering wasn't over yet.

"They beat him, stomped on him, kicked him, even on the ground," says Lester. When the police finally arrived, the bouncers lied to them and claimed Thompson had attacked them, according to the lawsuit. Thompson was charged with destruction of property and simple assault, although the charges were later dropped "for want of prosecution." During the alleged attack, Thompson suffered a concussion and broken fingers, according to the suit.

Thompson's injuries and arrest made for an interesting wedding a few days later. "His wedding photos, you know, he kind of looks like Frankenstein," Lester says. Thompson is seeking $10 million from the strip club and the three unnamed bouncers.

Stephen J. O'Brien, Camelot's attorney, responded in an email that the club is known as a "first-class gentleman's club." O'Brien also pointed me to a police report from Thompson's arrest, which shows the bouncers and the bachelor both suffering minor injuries. Thompson's attorneys insist, however, that his injuries were more significant than the police could initially see.

Photo by Flickr user Joe in D.C. used under a Creative Commons license.

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