Police break up fight with stun guns

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    Fort Worth police who responded to a barroom brawl last week used electric stun guns on at least one TCU football player who was working security at the Stone Canyon Night Club, a student said.Wide receiver Michael DePriest, an employee of the club, said police shot him with a stun gun after they were called to Stone Canyon to break up a fight that one source said occurred around 1:30 a.m. Friday.

    DePriest said the staff had handled the situation when the police showed up in response to what he said were exaggerated phone calls.

    “Everything would have been fine if the cops hadn’t barged in,” said DePriest, a senior sociology major.

    DePriest said the police caused people to panic because officers pushed and stunned several people who got in their way, including several club employees.

    “The general manager got Tased, and even the owner almost got Tased,” DePriest said. “I got Tased, too. People got hysterical. It was like a raid, and everybody was a victim. I don’t blame them, but I thought the situation could have been handled better.”

    The Fort Worth Police Department has not yet released a report for the incident, and numerous messages left since Monday for the Fort Worth public information officer and TCU neighborhood police officer Kirk Byrom have not been returned.

    Operators for the records department for the Fort Worth Police Department declined to comment on the incident, except to say that four phone calls were made concerning Stone Canyon’s address around the time of the fight.

    Stone Canyon, which is located in the Stockyards, is open Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Management could not be reached for comment.

    Head football coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday he had spoken with one player and planned to speak with others about the fight.

    Mark Cohen, athletics media relations director, said Patterson has issued a gag order for players and requested that media direct further questions to him.

    At least one other TCU football player is reported to be employed by the club, which Patterson said he was unhappy to hear.

    “Doing the bouncer thing, there’s always the opportunity for a fight,” Patterson said. “I can’t stop them from doing it, but I’m not sure it’s a great choice.”

    Mike Russel, assistant dean for campus life, said his office had no knowledge of the brawl, and unless a complaint is filed, it is unlikely any disciplinary action will be taken against those involved.

    DePriest said that as a result of the fight, Stone Canyon will implement stricter safety precautions, such as more distinct staff uniforms and a stricter dress code.

    Chad Pendarves, a senior political science major who was at Stone Canyon when the fight broke out, described a chaotic scene.

    “The police saw a struggle and couldn’t distinguish between who was fighting,” Pendarves said.