Langley club’s bouncer assaulted Indo-Canadian complainant, human rights tribunal hears

Published: April 30, 2013
Manjit Gill

Manjit Gill (left) and Serge Rai attend their human rights tribunal in Vancouver, B.C., on April 30, 2013. Wayne Leidenfrost/PNG

SUSAN LAZARUK
VANCOUVER DESI

An Indo-Canadian man who claims he was denied entry by the Langley Shark Club because he’s brown-skinned was assaulted by a bouncer that night after taking his picture.

Serge Rai, 43, filed a complaint against the club, along with his friends, Manjinder and Manjit Gill, a married couple who each filed a complaint against the club, after a bouncer refused them entry on Dec. 9, 2011.

The three complaints of race discrimination are being heard together by a B.C. human rights tribunal.

The three friends, all in their 40s and sober, were among a small group of Indo-Canadians who arrived 15 minutes late for a reserved party.

Doorman Andrew Schmah continued to admit other patrons, none of whom were visible minorities and some who had no tickets, the complainants said, after he told them the club was sold out, Rai said.

Rai said they continued to ask the doorman to be admitted and were also denied the opportunity to speak with a manager.

When Rai asked Schmah his name, the bouncer gave him a false last name and smirked, he said.

Rai also told the tribunal he was standing about “15 feet” away from Schmah, who was working the door behind a velvet rope, when he took a photograph of him with his cellphone.

“He came right at me,” said Rai. “He just charged at me.”

Schmah grabbed Rai in a headlock and flung him to the ground and Rai’s one shoe flew off, Rai said.

Schmah was convicted in May of assault in provincial court for the incident and sentenced to one year’s probation, according to court documents.

Rai also testified that in 2004 after phoning for New Year’s Eve party tickets at the club and being told there were lots available, arrived with his Indo-Canadian wife to be told they were sold out. A white couple they approached in the parking lot were able to purchase the tickets for them.

“I couldn’t let it rest this time,” he said to explain why he filed a human rights complaint.

He filed the complaint in February 2013 and received the Shark Club’s response in May, when it filed to have the complaint dismissed.

“It made me physically sick to my stomach at how many lies were told [by the Club in the application],” said Rai. “Their story was completely opposite of what happened that night and it was completely fabricated.”

Club manager Brent Chow told the tribunal he heard Rai say he was going to post photos of Shark Club staff on Facebook saying they were racist for not letting them in and that’s when he barred them.

Over hours of confusing testimony that had the tribunal chair seeking repeated clarification and the complainants shaking their heads, Chow also said they weren’t allowed in because they were late for their reservations and alternatively that only Rai was refused entry for not producing ID but the others were then barred for being belligerent.

Chow also said his staff told him Rai threatened to get a gun from his car and shoot them and the bouncer only assaulted Rai after he threatened the bouncer with a “metal stanchion.”

Chow also defended the bouncer’s profanity against the group and the assault as fitting within the Shark Club’s written professional code, maintaining it was OK for his employees to use profanity if a patron did first.

Chow eventually backed down after being challenged by the incredulous chairman and conceded the bouncer “did lose his cool a bit. But he took ownership of it.”

A written letter went on the file of Schmah, who no longer works for Shark Club.

The tribunal is scheduled to continue Wednesday with testimony of the two bouncers working that night.

slazaruk@theprovince.com
twitter.com/susanlazaruk

Tags: , , , ,




Featured

100 year journey

Harchet Hari made his way to Vancouver and then Calgary with his grandparents in 1932

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Harchet Hari His mother and father had already successfully settled into a new life in Calgary from their previous one in…
Continue Reading »

right to vote

B.C.’s South Asian pioneers kept aside their differences to gain the right to vote

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI “The government took our vote away in 1907. We got the Dominion vote in 1946 but you couldn’t vote in the…
Continue Reading »

crime-North Shore

Saudi-born dad gains guardianship of daughter put up for adoption by addict mom

KEVEN DREWS THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s highest court has granted guardianship rights to a Saudi man whose infant daughter was put up…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

CPP Investment Board to shift bigger share of assets to emerging markets: CEO

By David Paddon THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board sees the United States as a key destination for investments in…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Harchet Hari made his way to Vancouver and then Calgary with his grandparents in 1932

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Harchet Hari His mother and father had already successfully settled into a new life in Calgary from their previous one in…
Continue Reading »

Five stories in the news today, May 21

THE CANADIAN PRESS Three stories in the news today, May 21, from The Canadian Press: —— PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER BEING HONOURED IN QUEBEC TODAY…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »