Dramatic cell phone video captured the chaos and growing mob scene seconds after a taxi cab driver plowed into a group of people at the Stingaree nightclub Saturday morning. The shaky video clips provide insight and riveting pictures of exactly what happened.
But almost immediately, patrons began complaining that bouncers and security personnel at Stingaree were told to shut off their phones and leave the area.
On Monday, the owner of the club had a message for them: Get over it.
"Somebody who has got a video phone out and is trying to walk around and take pictures of injured people or the scene after it's done, are doing nothing but getting in the way of people's safety," said James Brennan. "In this digital age, everybody feels the need to pull out their cell phone and take pictures and video. I understand that. But for sure, they would be asked to clear the way and move to a location where they would not be obstructing the safety of others."
Brennan praised his security personnel in how they handled the tense moments after the accident. One of those security guards is credited with potentially saving the life of a woman whose leg was severed in the accident. Chad Starkey used his necktie to form a makeshift tourniquet.
"To act and react the way he did immediately, it's on record that he probably saved that gal's life," said Brennan.
He said the club is required by its entertainment permit to have 20 security guards. Brennan says had about 33 on duty at the time of the accident. He said the number one priority was to ensure the safety of patrons.
"Our job is to make sure everyone inside the venue is safe. Once something spills out into the streets, we do the best we can to protect all the other patrons," he said.
Brennan was in New York at the time of the accident. He said the first thing he did was look at security camera pictures of the accident. The footage has since been turned over to the San Diego Police Department, he said.
"It reminded me of something out of a war zone," said Brennan. "You can see people bouncing off the windshields.”
Brennan said he received a phone call from Mayor Jerry Sanders, who praised the quick reaction of the staff at Stingaree. Brennan also said he wants to reach out to the woman who's leg was severed and is planning on holding a fundraiser on her behalf in the near future.
Warning: Explicit Language: