SINGAPORE, May 10 — A group of patrons involved in a brawl outside Cherry Discotheque last weekend started the fight after they were refused entry for shouting at staff members aggressively, the nightclub said today.
They had left the club temporarily to smoke, but got angry when they were told that they had to join the queue to re-enter the club, Cherry Discotheque told TODAY.
The group began raising their voices at staff members after waiting in line for about 10 minutes, and turned violent after a manager decided not to let them enter due to their behaviour.
“Their reason was that they deserved to be re-admitted through a priority queue given that they had booked a ‘sofa’, one of the more premium tables, at Cherry Discotheque,” the club said in an emailed statement.
“Our staff informed them that all guests are treated equally, and they would have to wait in line till there is sufficient space in the club.”
Videos of the brawl, which occurred at about 1.40am on Saturday, was widely circulated on social media over the weekend.
It showed a group of men throwing queue poles and chairs at others near the entrance of the nightclub located at 133 Cecil Street in the Central Business District.
The police said yesterday in response to media queries that five men, aged between 20 and 59, were arrested for rioting. Two men, aged 21 and 30, were also taken to the hospital while they were conscious.
Police investigations are ongoing.
Cherry Discotheque said today that the group started “verbally abusing” the club’s workers after they were told they had to wait in line like the rest of the club’s patrons.
Staff members tried to explain the situation to the group, but the group continued to shout aggressively in response and demanded to see the managers.
“At this point, the patrons in the re-entry line in front of the group started to look frightened,” the club said.
That was the point when the nightclub’s workers decided that enough was enough.
Manager hit in the head
The club’s manager decided that the group would not be allowed to re-enter. Following this, an employee informed one of the men in the group, who had made the reservation for the table, of the decision.
He was asked to claim the group’s belongings and the nightclub refunded him for their unconsumed drinks, Cherry Discotheque said.
However, after the man left the club to inform his friends of what had happened, the group became even more unhappy and started acting violently, the club said.
They pushed through other patrons in the queue, knocked over queue poles and threw punches at some of the employees, it said.
The employees tried to control the situation by retreating but the group grabbed onto queue poles and started attacking the staff members with them, it added.
The statement then identified some of the staff members involved as the club’s bouncers, and said that they retreated into the club and closed the door to prevent the aggressors from entering and attacking other patrons.
Cherry Discotheque said that a manager was hit in the head with a queue pole, and that he later walked away to try to call the police. The club did not state if this was the same manager as before.
“However, before the call could go through, he was assaulted by another member of the group. Even as he was lying on the ground, two other members of the group came over to kick him in the head,” the club said.
It added that a female patron tried to shield the manager in a bid to stop the attack but the group continued kicking the manager’s head before walking away.
The club told TODAY that the manager needed stitches behind his ear after he was taken to the hospital.
An employee of the club managed to call the police, while others who were inside the club headed upstairs to the entrance area, where the brawl was taking place, to help control the situation.
Cherry Discotheque said that while staff members were waiting for the police to arrive, the group came back to the scene and started attacking them again.
A club bouncer threw a queue pole in defence and to create distance between the group and the club, Cherry Discotheque said.
“The actions taken by our staff were made purely out of self-defence and for the protection of themselves and our patrons,” the club claimed.
It added that the group of angry patrons continued their attacks with the pole queues and, at one point, intimidated patrons who were recording the incident, instructing them to delete their videos.
The group walked away from the scene shortly before the police arrived.
“Our goal at Cherry Discotheque is to provide a safe and fun environment for people to enjoy good music and drinks responsibly,” the club told TODAY. “The well-being of our patrons and staff are most important to us.” — TODAY