Alleged Bar Security Negligence Leads to Brutal Assault

This case study examines an incident in a bar where inadequate security measures allegedly led to a brutal assault on a patron. It highlights the expert's insights on the necessity of enhanced security protocols in licensed venues and the legal implications for establishments failing to ensure patron safety.

ByZach Barreto


Published on February 13, 2024

Security guard at bar

Case Overview

This case study focuses on a severe incident that took place in an urban bar, akin to those found in bustling neighborhoods like Midtown NYC. An adult woman was assaulted around 7:30 PM as she was exiting the restroom located in the basement of the establishment. The assailant, a level 3 sex offender who had recently been released from custody, resided nearby.

The venue, officially leased as a coffee and cocktail lounge, operated primarily as a sports bar and disco club. It employed one security guard whose shift commenced at 8 PM, half an hour after the assault occurred. Notably, there were no surveillance cameras installed outside the restrooms. Allegations have been raised against the bar for its negligence in providing adequate security for its patrons.

Questions to the Criminal Justice expert and their responses


Could you describe your background in law enforcement, specifically with the NYPD?

I held the position of Lieutenant within the NYPD, assigned to Community Affairs where I oversaw the Crime Prevention Unit. My responsibilities included conducting checks of venues licensed to sell alcoholic beverages and ensuring their adherence to occupancy codes. In cases where premises failed to secure their locations adequately, I initiated nuisance abatement proceedings.


What types of enhanced security should have been present in this bar to prevent such an incident?

According to Section 64-e, cabaret establishments are required to install security cameras at entrances and exits. Additionally, it is common practice for Community Boards to mandate that venues serving alcohol employ security guards.

A common-sense standard also applies which necessitates proprietors to implement safety measures for their patrons' protection. Even if the security guard's shift started post-incident, accountability still lies with the proprietor who must submit a report to the state liquor authority.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If so, could you provide some details?

Yes, I am currently serving as an expert on a case involving an assault in a bar with a cabaret license where no security was on duty. The venue is facing civil liability due to previous incidents and the proprietors' failure to implement physical security measures alongside cameras.

About the expert

This expert boasts over three decades of experience in criminal justice and law enforcement procedures, including a 20-year tenure at a major city police department comparable to the New York City Police Department. Their roles ranged from serving as a police officer on the civilian complaint review board to an investigative supervisor in the internal affairs bureau, and as a community relations and integrity control officer in the community affairs bureau. Currently, they are an adjunct professor of criminal justice at two universities and a founding partner at a public safety and policing consultancy, leveraging their extensive knowledge gained from advanced degrees in organizational management, public administration, and education.

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About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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