Bouncer at West Hollywood nightclub arrested after violent altercation

Bouncer at West Hollywood nightclub arrested after violent altercation

News

A bouncer at a popular West Hollywood nightclub has been arrested nearly two weeks after allegedly punching a person who was trying to get into the bar in the face so violently that they suffered severe head trauma.

The incident, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, occurred on April 5 at around 10:40 p.m. at Heart Weho, a nightclub in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.

While LASD has released very few details in the case, a department news release states that the club’s security guard refused entry to the victim, identified by family and friends as 53-year-old Alberto Vasquez, for not having proper identification.

“Both the suspect and the victim engaged in a verbal and physical altercation, in which the suspect punched the victim once in the face,” authorities said in the release.

Vasquez, a well-known hairstylist, who lists celebrities among his clients, was found unconscious near a parking lot in a part of West Hollywood renowned for its nightlife. The 53-year-old was suffering severe head trauma that required surgery to remove part of his fractured skull.

Family members of Vasquez believe the incident was the result of “gay bashing.” However, authorities are saying very little right now about the details of the investigation.

“So, we’re not getting into the exact details of the incident,” LASD Capt. William Moulder told KTLA’s Chris Wolfe. “We are letting the media and the public know that there was a physical and verbal altercation that resulted in where we are today.”

Gloria Jimenez, the victim’s sister, told KTLA that she’s at least happy the story has made its way to the public.

“We’re thrilled that the correct news is out there now, that he actually was assaulted by a security officer,” she said. “We still have a lot of questions.”

  • Alberto Vasquez, 53, seen in the hospital after allegedly being beaten by a bouncer at WeHo nightclub on April 5, 2024. (Gloria Jimenez)

  • Bouncer at WeHo club arrested after violent altercation

  • Bouncer at WeHo club arrested after violent altercation

  • Alberto Vasquez, 53, seen in this undated photo cutting hair. (viewer photo)

  • Heart Weho nightclub in West Hollywood. (KTLA)

Singer, dancer and former *NSYNC superstar Lance Bass was an original partner in Heart Weho, which was once advertised as the biggest gay nightclub in the United States. Bass is no longer associated with the nightclub, but did release a statement on the recent violence that read in part:

“When I first joined Heart, my mission was clear; to foster a place where people could find safety, have a good time and were able to truly be themselves. It’s incredibly distressing to realize that there are individuals who act without restraint or an ethical compass, posing potential threats to others.”

The club’s security guard was arrested on a charge of battery causing great bodily injury. Capt. Moulder told KTLA that an arrest like this is uncommon.

“In the evenings, we have an entertainment policing team, a sergeant and five deputies,” he explained. “They liaison with the different security and management of the different clubs, bars, restaurants and in our interactions with all of them, they always do an outstanding job.”

As for Vasquez, who remains in the hospital, family members say he is improving and has started talking.

Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to contact LASD’s West Hollywood Station Detective Lombera at 310-358-4028. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-222-8477 or leave tips online at L.A. Crime Stoppers.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.

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