Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bogart's bouncer pleads
innocent to assault charges

By Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writer

CORRYVILLE - A Bogart's bouncer accused of stabbing two patrons at a heavy metal concert Monday night told his mother he was fending off an attack on him during a fight.

Police say Donald Germany, 21, a University of Cincinnati defensive end and special teams player on a scholarship, pulled out a knife and stabbed two men. Neither of the victims was seriously hurt.

The crowd was waiting for the English band Cradle of Filth to take the stage.

Germany's mother, who arrived in court Tuesday still in her pajamas, said her son - on the Bearcat Honor Roll for having a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in fall 2003 - was trying to keep concertgoers from rushing a door when a fight broke out and he defended himself. She said he took the knife from one of the patrons.

"We just panicked because we heard he was being beaten and stomped,'' said his mother, Diamond Star, of Columbus. "I have never had any problems with him."

Danny Calhoun, another Bogart's security guard who was working Monday night, waited with Star for Germany's arraignment. He said he attends classes with Germany and played on the football team last year.

"I didn't see him stab anybody," said Calhoun, 21, of Clifton. "I didn't see who stabbed who."

Germany pleaded not guilty to two counts of felonious assault. He was released from jail after his mother paid $200 - 10 percent of his $2,000 bail. The case is scheduled to be heard by a grand jury Nov. 18.

Concertgoer Gregory Gonzales, 21, of Norwood also was arrested and charged with assault for allegedly punching Germany in the face.

Stabbed were Chris Alsip, 28, lead singer of the Cincinnati hardcore metal band Suffocate Faster, and James Shestina, 18, of Athens.

Germany was a walk-on to the football team until this year, when he got a scholarship. He's allowed to have a job, although Coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday he didn't know Germany worked the bouncer job.

Under UC's athletic department rules, Germany was suspended from the team because he was charged with a felony, Dantonio said. The university also can suspend him for violating its student code of conduct, but spokesman Greg Hand said privacy rules prohibit him from revealing whether a student has been suspended or not.

The concert, the MTV2 Headbangers Ball national tour, was stopped after the 9:40 p.m. incident, and the Short Vine Street concert venue was cleared out. Police estimated between 300 and 350 people were inside.

Headbangers Ball is a Saturday night show on MTV2.

Bogart's officials could not be reached for comment.

Capt. Richard Schmalz, commander of District 4, said police do not generally have trouble at the club.

"Occasionally, we'll have to move crowds out of there," he said, "but that's about it.''


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