Man stabbed during brawl at gay Atlanta bar

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Last call turned violent early Sunday at a Cheshire Bridge Road gay bar as a go-go dancer apparently stabbed a customer during a brawl in the parking lot.

The incident unfolded in the parking lot of BJ Roosters, a go-go bar that sits in a triangle of gay clubs near the intersection of Cheshire Bridge and Faulkner roads. A 25-year-old man was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital as a fleet of emergency vehicles, including two ambulances, several Atlanta police cruisers and Atlanta fire, responded about 2:45 a.m. and filled the parking lot and a lane of Cheshire Bridge. 

The incident took place as last call sent patrons from BJ's and Heretic into the parking lots they share and to their parked vehicles along Faulkner. The after hours party Xion, which starts at 3 a.m., was taking place in the lower level of BJ's.

A crowd of up to 10 men were fighting in the parking lot of BJ's when police were called, according to an Atlanta police incident report. A 25-year-old Decatur man said he and a friend were taking a selfie when a fight broke out between a dancer at the club and another man in the parking lot. When he tried to stop it, the dancer stabbed him in the neck, he told police.

“[He] stated that he was in the parking lot and was taking a picture with another person when a fight started,” according to the incident report. “When he tried to stop the fight he felt a pain in his neck.”

The man was cut on his left ear and suffered a 1-inch laceration to his neck, according to police. 

A second victim, a 21-year-old man who lives in Baltimore, told police that he was jumped in the parking lot during the fight and suffered a cut to the back of his head. Paramedics treated his injuries at the scene and he refused to be taken to the hospital.

A third man, a 29-year-old from Mills, Ga., told police he was injured when someone stepped on his head during the fight.

No arrests were reported at the scene. The case will be assigned to an investigator, a police spokesperson said Monday. An employee of the bar told police that exterior security cameras may provide footage of the brawl. A bar co-owner said the club is still investigating the incident and declined comment on Monday.

Gay bars aren't always cocktails and dancing queens. In October, two men were arrested after allegedly attacking a security guard and another man inside Heretic. Bad stuff even happens at the gay gym.

Bartender attacked, man arrested in earlier disturbance


UPDATE | The brawl early Sunday was the second time over the weekend that violence erupted at BJ's, according to Atlanta police. On Friday, a 35-year-old Atlanta man was arrested for allegedly attacking bar employees and patrons during a fight that stretched along Cheshire Bridge before police broke it up.

Michael Antonio Ralston was charged with criminal trespass and four counts of aggravated assault after he allegedly stormed into the bar about 9 p.m. Ralston struck a bartender who asked him to leave and then began fighting other employees and customers, according to an incident report. The victims included Bobby Hamill, a co-owner of the bar whom Ralston allegedly struck in the face with a pool stick.

Hamill told police that after Ralston entered the bar, he became unruly and started swinging pool sticks and threw a pool ball at a door attendant. 

“Mr. Hamill advised there were numerous property damages to the location of BJ Roosters including holes in the wall (dry wall), broken light fixtures, missing pool ball sets, broken pool sticks,” according to the incident report. 

Ralston allegedly caused more than $500 damage during his rampage through the bar, Hamill told police.

A customer who tried to help bar employees subdue Ralston was also struck in the head with a pool stick. Three other people were also injured during the altercation. 

Ralston fled the bar and was chased along Cheshire Bridge by a small group of people. When police arrived, Ralston was squaring off with another person as they continued to fight, according to the incident report.

Ralston, bleeding and shirtless, was arrested and transported to the detention unit at Grady.


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