Lawsuits could be filed following fight at the Blue Max

A fight between a radio disc jockey and a bouncer at a local bar June 8 could end up moving to court, as both the bar and the DJ are reportedly considering lawsuits.

A disagreement over what the Blue Max charges for water led to the fight at the northwest Reno bar between a bouncer and Kevin Simmons, who was celebrating his last day working at Alice 96.5 with friends during a performance by The Saddle Tramps, a local rockabilly band. The melee started when a bartender refused to give Simmons—who had been drinking alcoholic beverages—some tap water, instead telling Simmons he could purchase a bottle of water for $3. When all was said and done, Simmons suffered facial injuries, including the loss of at least one tooth, and a glass door at the bar was broken. Reno police ultimately arrested Simmons.

Thomas Bradley, an attorney representing the Blue Max, said that Simmons started the ruckus.

“The DJ elected to show his disagreement with the [water] policy by stuffing paper towels into the bathroom sink, turning on the water and flooding the bathroom,” Bradley said in a press release. “When the DJ was asked to leave the premises, he decided to spit into the face of the Blue Max employee, start a fight with him and break the front door.”

However, in an e-mail sent en masse to the media last week, The Saddle Tramps—who have called for a boycott of the Blue Max—said the fight was an “act of unwarranted violence” against Simmons.

“This wasn’t an attempt to detain an intoxicated individual,” the e-mail said. “This was an assault from the beginning.”

The controversy heightened on June 12, when The Saddle Tramps’ e-mail was read on the air during KDOT 104.5’s morning show as part of the show’s “Mailbag Tuesday” feature. Simmons now works at KDOT, although he was not on the air when the e-mail was read. Jave Patterson, one of the hosts of KDOT’s morning show, who also works as the station’s program director, said the station received a cease-and-desist letter from the Blue Max following the broadcast, demanding the incident not be discussed on the air.

“We were not picking on the Blue Max,” Patterson said, claiming that he did “editorialize” that overly aggressive bouncers were a problem across the country.

Patterson added that he encouraged Simmons, who was not an employee of KDOT at the time of the incident—he actually started the day following the fight—to obtain legal representation, since the Blue Max had done so.

“If what Kevin says is true, and if what the band says is true, and if what the 15 witnesses said is true, then I think Kevin has a case,” he said.

However, Bradley told the RN&R that the fact that police arrested Simmons speaks volumes about who is telling the truth.

“After the police did the investigation, they determined it was the DJ who should be arrested on two counts of assault and battery and one count of willful destruction of property,” Bradley said.

Bradley added that a decision on legal action against Simmons and others could come within a week.

Attempts by the RN&R to reach Simmons through KDOT were unsuccessful.