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November 28, 2014

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Attorney disputes Metro officer’s story about confrontation at Vanguard Lounge

The attorney for a man arrested after a confrontation with Metro police in a downtown bar in June said the police officers' version of events conflicts with the video evidence.

Attorney Stephen Stubbs, who represented Dominic Gennarino for free, said the hand-written report filed by the arresting officer, Robert Glowinski, is different than the video shot by surveillance cameras about 3 a.m. in the Vanguard Lounge at 516 Fremont St.

Click to enlarge photo

Dominic Gennarino on June 6, 2014.

Glowinski was one of seven Metro officers escorting patrons out of the rear exit after a stabbing occurred near the front of the bar. Gennarino was at the back of the pack. About 20 seconds after the video starts, Glowinski grabbed the man's right wrist and swung him around toward four other officers. They struggled to restrain the man. While they tried hold the man's arms, a fifth officer, Kevin Kolkoski, jammed his nightstick into the man's abdomen three times.

In his report, Glowinski wrote that the incident that led to his use of force was when Gennarino "threw his back" into him.

But in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Capt. Shawn Anderson said Glowinski arrested Gennarino out of fear that once he exited the bar Gennarino might cause more trouble. He described Gennarino as “mouthy” and yelling at someone else ahead of him closer to the bar’s exit.

Anderson couldn't immediately be reached for comment today.

Gennarino spent two days in jail. His resisting arrest charge will be dismissed, a Las Vegas Municipal Court judge declared, if he stays out of trouble for six months.

Stubbs said Gennarino was actually cooperative. He said before the YouTube video begins, the surveillance video shows another man arguing with Gennarino before an officer separates the two. Stubbs said the other man was trying to start a fight.

In the remaining video, Stubbs said, Gennarino is talking to Glowinski and pointing to the man who wanted to start a fight.

“The only thing (Gennarino) said was, ‘That’s the guy trying to fight me,’” Stubbs said.

Vangaurd Lounge Footage

Footage from the Vangaurd.

In his report, Glowinski said Gennarino was not exiting fast enough and told him to move faster.

However, Stubbs said the video shows dozens of people between Gennarino and the rear exit. Stubbs said that shows Gennarino could not move more quickly even if he wanted to.

During the arrest, which takes only seconds, Glowinski said it took several officers “to assist in taking control of Gennarino, but it was unsuccessful.” He said that only the blows by Kolkoski led Gennarino “to comply," according to his report.

Glowinski wrote that even in handcuffs, Gennarino “remained arguementative (sic) and attempted to pull away from officers.” Stubbs said he talked to a witness who said Gennarino was only asking “why are you doing this?”

At the very end of the video, Gennarino’s head is slammed into the concrete wall of The Vanguard. Stubbs provided a picture of Gennarino bloodied forehead.

Glowinski said Gennarino later apologized. But Stubbs said a sergeant on the scene asked Gennarino to apologize in an audio recording but he would not. Stubbs said Gennarino did make a recorded statement, but Stubbs has not obtained that audio recording.

“He wasn’t resisting arrest,” Stubbs concluded. “And what was the point of bashing his head in the wall?”

Metro’s Internal Affairs Bureau looked into the case after Stubbs submitted a complaint. But he said none of the investigators talked to him or his client before dismissing the complaint.

See the arrest declaration for Gennarino below.

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