Attorney Describes Beating of Gay Man at Missoula Club, Says Client is Still ‘Laid-Up’ From Injuries
Attorneys for Reece Pierce say their client is still “laid-up” and unable to use his shoulder after being beaten on May 30th for being gay and are seeking damages from the Missoula Club for a hate crime assault at the hands of one of the club’s bouncers. Attorney Nate McConnell offer’s Pierce’s version of what happened when he attempted to leave the bar.
"When they get out the door, as Reece is walking down the street, the bouncer whose name is Ryan Bloom, yelled some epithets based on Reece's sexual orientation and cheap-shotted him in the face from behind," McConnell said. "Reece fell to the ground. Mr. Bloom grabbed Reece's scalp and basically pounded Reece's face into the sidewalk."
McConnell says Pierce then ran to a stop sign at the corner of Ryman and Main and "held on for dear life" before being charged by the suspect who commenced to punching and kicking him. The resulting impact McConnell says, is what separated Pierce’s shoulder, tearing nearby ligaments. McConnell says there were others who saw the event and that throughout the attack the suspect was spouting homophobic slurs.
"We are very confident in our case," McConnell said. "We are very confident that this was based on Reece's sexual orientation, so it was discriminatory in nature. Keep in mind that Reece had on a black mesh shirt, white pants and he was wearing a leather-sparkly-type hat. I mean, he was openly gay... it was clear that Reece Pierce was gay. The people he was with support our version of events and I think objective bystanders would back that up."
Currently, the bouncer, Ryan Bloom, is facing a misdemeanor assault charge, but Pierce’s attorneys say they believe the attack could warrant an Aggravated Assault charge, which would be a felony.
An attorney for the Missoula Club denies Pierce’s description of events. Dwight J. Schulte, with the Schulte Law Firm, gave this statement to KGVO:
The Missoula Club is a Montana institution that has welcomed persons of every race, color, creed, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. The Missoula Club absolutely denies the allegations and looks forward to addressing them in open court.