The District Bar On Court Street Protects Man Who Assaulted Woman

Update:  The police have stated, “We have better things to do than investigate.”  You can read the update here: http://matthewberdyckactivism.com/2018/05/larry-smithson-des-moines-iowa-cops-fail-to-arrest-man-who-assaulted-woman-at-district-bar/

I’m passing through Des Moines, on my way to get pizza in Chicago.  I decided to stop in a bar downtown, on Court Street, called The District.  While I was sitting there, a man was sitting at the bar next to me, when I woman walked by and he made an excessively rude comment to her.  She walked up to him and said, “Excuse me?!” He got in her face, and then he hit her.

I immediately jumped out of my chair, grabbed the guy by his hair, and ripped him off of her.  He grabbed me by the shirt and took a swing at me, so I punched him, and swung him around, away from the woman, by his hair.

Just as he was swinging around he came to face another patron in the bar, a male, who yelled, “Don’t touch that girl again!”  The aggressor responded by tackling the man who was defending the woman.

Just as this was happening, the owner, Larry Smithson, and security ran up.  I told them that the guy had hit the girl, and the owner said, “I know!”  Then, they let the guy who hit the woman go, and dragged the guy who defended her out of the bar, even though he’d done nothing wrong.

Once the brave guy was thrown out of the bar he began trying to tell the bouncer what happened, when, with no provocation whatsoever, the bouncer lunged at and tackled the kid, as two other people grabbed him, slammed his head into the concrete, and hand cuffed him, just as the attacker was running down the street, the other way.

Then, then the bouncer violently dragged him down the street to attempt to have him arrested, in front of another bar, an entire block away.

I remained behind to talk to the bar owner, and explained to him what happened, to which he responded, “I own every bar in this town, I don’t give a fuck.”  I explained that I was a national working filmmaker and activist, and that I had just witnessed his bouncer attack the kid who tried to protect the girl, without provocation.  He yelled, “I don’t give a fuck who you are, I eat losers like you for breakfast.”  

At this point, I left, walked down the street to find the kid.  I found him, a block away from the bar, on the ground handcuffed.  As I was walking up, the bouncer flicked his cigarette ash onto the kid.

Then, the police arrived.  I witnessed the bouncer tell the police that the kid had charged at him, bold faced lying to the police.  I then made a statement to the police, explained what happened, and they let the kid go.

If you are women, you go to The District bar, and you are assaulted by a man, the establishment will make no attempt to detain the man who assaulted you but will arrest anyone who attempts to defend you.

After they let the kid go, I asked the police what they could do to catch the guy who assaulted the woman, and they said, “Since the bar made no effort to detain him, we would have a hard time trying to catch him.”

This bar owner had full knowledge the man had assaulted the woman, and knowingly let him go, saying, “I don’t give a fuck what happened.  No one can touch me.”

Matt

Update:  The police have stated, “We have better things to do than investigate.”  You can read the update here: http://matthewberdyckactivism.com/2018/05/larry-smithson-des-moines-iowa-cops-fail-to-arrest-man-who-assaulted-woman-at-district-bar/

14 thoughts on “The District Bar On Court Street Protects Man Who Assaulted Woman”

  1. Larry Smithson has been problematic for YEARS. If anyone did any kind of digging or asking around they would find stories about the teen girls he kept around for himself as well as supplying and using cocaine in his own clubs and bars. It is not a coincidence that he owned (or might still own) several “all ages” dance clubs and at least HIGHLY questionable after hours places. He owned a teen dance club where a man of about 50-60 was allowed to walk around and ogle the girls. (He was known as “The Cowboy.”) There are instances of racial discrimination, including a documented instance where he would not permit a young man wearing a turban worn for religious reasons.

    It is not surprising that he would let violence fly. He has an ego that mismatches the fact that his business AND himself would never last in a city with any kind of real population. He’s trash. He has money and enjoys the “power” he has. He hasn’t really been held accountable since I was a teen, almost 20 years ago and probably well before then as well.

    Something should be done.

    1. I absolutely agree with your assessment of Smithson. I’ve know he was a POS since my days at Jukebox Saturday Night in the late 80’s.

    2. Although I am not aware of the incidents you describe, wouldn’t surprise me. This isn’t new at his establishments. His bouncers (4) dogpiled on me in ’93 after some guy took a swing at me for dancing with the wrong girl. He got away clean, I got 3 bad discs in my neck and back, maced in the face, public intoxication charges and a lifetime of back pain. Then there was also the incident around ’96-’00 when his bouncers smothered that Lovelady kid to death and got off clean at trial.

      Apple doesn’t fall far from tree.

      1. Hey Jeremy, you piece of shit!!!! You deserved everything you got. I hope your pain lasts until you die!!!!

    3. There is an illusion of justice! In reality: The lady Justice lies raped and murdered at the bottom of some sea somewhere! So, All must Avoid The District Bar and any other Bar owned by that man. The only way anything ever gets done.is if we do it ourselves!

  2. Larry Smithson is walking talking garbage. He’s been degrading woman for as long a single I can remember. He’s okayed countless racial dress codes to his clubs.

    I hope someone can shed some light on this sickening individual.

  3. I realize you’re not local, but it’s “Court Avenue”, not Court Street and it’s a whole thing so getting it wrong matters. I am from Des Moines and it took me a minute to understand where you meant until you mentioned Larry Smithson, who has owned every bar on Court Avenue at one time or another and is definitely a well known POS. His bouncers have killed a man before. Unfortunately calling him out doesn’t change anything or affect his earnings at all. We even pocketed the bar where the man was murdered. Do you have any other ideas?

  4. This is why i dont go to any bars here they all suck stupid dress codes racist owner i use to love rockford and slowly i hate it more and more

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