San Diego

21-Year-Old Woman Claims Bouncers Body Slammed Her Inside Pacific Beach Bar

One woman claims she was violently slammed by bouncers inside Pacific Beach’s Backyard Kitchen and Tap.

A young woman said she was violently shoved and slammed to the ground by bouncers inside Pacific Beach’s Backyard Kitchen and Tap around 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Natalie Lara, 21, said she's now dealing with head and neck pains, scratches and bruises, as well as a hurt arm. She said it all started when she saw a woman push someone in the club.

“I told the woman ‘Hey you don’t need to push,’” Lara explained. “I didn't put my hands on anyone, I told someone to not put their hands on somebody.”

Moments after she was surrounded by several bouncers, she said, and one started yelling at her with profanities.

“So when I turn around and let go of my arms, a third guard is standing behind me, grabs me from my back and slams me right in front of the wall,” Lara said. “What grown man throws a woman like that?”

She was then dragged out of the bar while screaming for the security guards to let go of her, Lara told NBC 7.

“One of them, he grabs me and swings me to the right and throws me onto the concrete floor,” she added.

Natalie Lara

This is not the first time patrons have complained about the security guards at Backyard Kitchen and Tap.

Phil Nosrat told NBC 7 he confronted security guards who he thought were going to hurt his friend.

After seeing his friend get thrown into the street, Nosrat said moments later he too was thrown to the ground and had a guard on top of him for "what felt like two hours." Nosrat broke his ankle in the fall.

His attorney, Evan Walker, said there have been numerous complaints raised against the bar ranging from unnecessary physicality to racial discrimination. 

"We're aware of over 300 times that police have been called out to deal with instances at this facility," Walker said. "What's that say? It says that there is a problem."

And in June NBC 7 spoke with a former San Diego State University football player who said a bouncer at Backyard Kitchen and Tap body-slammed him, leaving him with post-traumatic stress and mild brain damage. Surveillance video captured the incident.

He filed a civil suit claiming assault, battery, and negligence in hiring, supervision and training of the security guards.

“I don't know what their protocols are but it shouldn't be grabbing someone and throwing them onto the floor when I’m a 120-pound, 5-foot-8 girl and they are huge men,” Lara said.

The General Manager of Backyard Kitchen and Tap, Ryan O'Leary, responded to NBC 7, "We take any complaint of this nature seriously. Our investigation contradicts the allegations made by this individual."

Earlier in 2019, a manager for Backyard Kitchen and Tap told NBC 7 that their security guards are employees of the company.

Lara said she is currently seeking legal counsel.

The former football player told NBC 7's Omari Fleming that he had reconstructive facial surgery, but the mental scars remain.

A lengthier statement from O'Leary read as follows:

"Backyard Kitchen and Tap takes great pride in being part of the local community and a leader in the local hospitality industry. We take any and all allegations of this nature very seriously. We have conducted investigations on the St. Patrick's Day matter as well as the recent incident over this past weekend. Although we typically refrain from public comment regarding incidents such as these, due to the seriousness of the allegations, we would like to give some general comments regarding these incidents. It is our goal to provide a safe and fun environment for our customers as well as our staff. The parties making these allegations threatened that safe environment. Any injuries that may have occurred in these incidents were sustained while protecting our customers and staff. We contacted the San Diego Police Department on both incidents with no finding of any wrongdoing by any member of the Backyard staff."

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