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Employee Who Lost Eye During DMV Brawl Speaks Out

by ARLnow.com April 14, 2011 at 6:00 am 3,066 39 Comments

A hotel employee who lost an eye during a huge brawl at the DMV Music Awards in Crystal City last month is speaking out about his ordeal.

In a video produced by the Arlington County Police Department, the employee — “Antonio,” a bartender at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City — says he and his family are now in debt and struggling to get by on meager workman’s compensation payments. He has had two operations since the March 5 incident and expects to have at least one more to get a prosthetic eye. While in recovery, Antonio has been unable to bathe or care for himself, and relies on his wife and friends to accomplish everyday tasks.

“I used to work for three hotels… I don’t know” if I will ever work again, he said. “I cannot live this way.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the attack to contact Detective J. Donaggio at 703-228-4167 or [email protected] Several photos of the woman who is alleged to have attacked Antonio are displayed at the end of the video.

  • Tabby

    5’5″ or taller? Hispanic? Or light-skinned African-American?

    • mehoo

      Why does it matter?

      • Daniel

        +1

      • Michael H.

        To help identify the suspect.

        • Michael H.

          A clearer picture of the suspect’s face would help too. The pictures in the video are too grainy to help with identification.

        • Tabby

          Thanks, Michael. I thought it was clear that’s what I meant but apparently not.

          • V Dizzle

            Yeah, at first look, it seemd like you meant the guy in the video that I haven’t yet watched 😉 On second look, that was waaay off. Sorry (I didn’t say anything, but thought it).

        • mehoo

          Ah, okay.

  • Poor dude.

  • KalashniKEV

    I would call in sick if they told me I had to work the “DMV awards.”

    Too bad we don’t do “an eye for an eye.”

    • boo

      He thought it had something to do with safe drivers.

  • CrystalMikey

    This is a damn shame. This “DMV” organization needs to step up and help pay this man’s expenses!

  • MC 703

    Dollars to doughnuts that no one involved in the fight was from SoArl or NoArl. And I bet ya a Sacajawea silver dollar they have no remorse either and could care less about this poor hard working guy. In da streets

  • MC 703

    I can’t watch Youtube at work… Did he get stabbed in the eye? Did she hit him with a heel? Drink glass?

    • Tabby

      I think she smashed a bottle on his face. Or hit him in the eye with an already broken bottle.

  • SoCo Resident

    The deep-pocketed Hyatt is financially responsible for this poor man’s condition for negligently allowing the dangereous DMV situation in the first place with totally inadequate security. The Hyatt ought to step forward and pay all his medical costs and loss of income, earning capacity, etc, etc. If the Hyatt does not do the right thing, area labor organizations should begin a BOYCOTT of all Hyatt hotels. As for the DMV, not a peep from them or any of the local rappers. Don’t look for any benefit rap concerts any time soon. There is no establishment that will host the DMV in the future; they had a hard time finding one this year. And, not one single arrest for this riot?

    • KalashniKEV

      Keep looking for the outrage. The proximate cause of this man’s loss of sight isn’t the Hyatt or it’s policies.

      • mehoo

        +1,000, Kev.

        • KalashniKEV

          Wow… a double.

      • Bard

        I don’t know if you know what “proximate cause” means or if you were just trying to sound smart, but if the Hyatt had reason to know this crowd could become violent and hosted them anyway, without taking adequate security measures of their own, then I’d think they would be a proximate cause. Maybe not the primary one, but it’s not like they’re absolved of blame.

        Frankly, having some familiarity with this segment of the local rap scene, I would think their reputation precedes them, and that a reputable business like Hyatt would be aware of that.

        • KalashniKEV

          Thanks, I do know. The cause of the injury was the actual assault- the bottle hitting the face. The proximate cause of the event was the riot- i.e. DMV… not the Hyatt Security Plan, which is not “event.” If you’re saying that their Security Plan was inadequate (do you even know it’s details?) or further- that it constitutes negligence because, you said it, not me- black musicians are violent?? I’d call you a racist… and a moron.

          • Bard

            A racist moron? Thanks, neighbor.

            Doing my best not to take the bait… your analysis of liability implies a very limited definition of proximate cause, which would be consistent with your apparent ideological belief that companies shouldn’t be liable for negligence when the harm caused is even somewhat attenuated. That’s not the law. I guess you want the law changed. Tort reform, right?

            In any event, I don’t know whether Hyatt is liable or not. I’m just saying that depending on the circumstances, it’s possible.

          • KalashniKEV

            Keep hippity-hopping on your hip-hop “jump to conclusions mat” I’m sure you and SoCo will eventually reach the “Deep Pockets” of the Hyatt if you jump far enough. Until then, let people with common sense worry about the assailant and not speculate on how much security was there, and how much security is enough (unless of course you are in the security industry, and were in attendance?).

    • mehoo

      How do you know the security was inadequate? Do you even know how much they provided? No.

      • KalashniKEV

        I’m agreeing with Mehoo here… not knowing any details of the security plan how can you say that more Security would have prevented it? Should they have enough security to keep every potential combatant at arm’s length? How long did the uprising take place before the injury was sustained by the victim? You know if they passed on a huge cost of security to the customer there would be cries of racism.

  • John Fontain

    I feel terrible that this happened to this man.

    There are probably a dozen people who know the woman who did this and could identify her for the police, but they are all sitting silent. I wish they would realize that they can remain anonymous and still receive the reward for turning her in. Seriously, a five minute call can earn someone $5,000.

    Unfortunately, the people who could identify her probably aren’t reading the arlnow website. I took at look at the DMV awards website and there is no mention of the fact that police are looking for her. If the DMV award folks had integrity and wanted to help right the wrong that happened, they would post this video and picture of the woman along with the reward information front and center on their website.

    I wonder if the police have thought to ask them to do so? I wonder if a little pressure from the press would help make this happen.

    • mehoo

      Can you post comments anywhere on the DMV site?

      • John Fontain

        Yes, and I actually just posted a comment to ask them to link to the video front and center on their website. My comment apparently won’t appear until the moderator approves it, so we’ll see if that ever happens. I’m not holding my breath.

        • Pretty sure they follow the “no snitches” code.

          • mehoo

            Much like hotels and restaurants and meeting halls are now all following the “No DMV events” code.

  • KalashniKEV

    LOL from the website- these guys actually showed up in prison jumpsuits!!!!

    I guess they don’t like to waste a lot of time during booking?

  • Black Flag

    PAY THE MAN!!!!!!

  • Hey Scott, do you have any pictures of the perp in still format?

  • Arlwhenever

    Workers’ Comp should pay for all of this guys medical bills, but will not reimburse any caregiver lost income; while the victim is incapacitated workers comp will also come pretty close (on an after tax basis) to compensating for wage loss at the Hyatt. What workers comp does not do is compensate for wage loss at his other two jobs.

    The way that Hyatt could and should make it up to this fellow is to give him fulltime work for life when he is recovered well enough to work fulltime. Under the no-fault workers comp laws Hyatt cannot be sued by an employee for negligence.

    The lawsuit for lack of security/due care should be filed against the promotor/artist/self-described pimp who goes by the name of DRE’ ALL DAY IN THE PAINT! 202-560-7467 / [email protected]. He organized and sponsored the DMV bash. He knows what the history had been — the facts speak for themselves, he didn’t take credible steps to prevent violence.

  • Z

    Q “How does this make you feel”

    A “I’m excited to have had an eye poked out. This is great!” /s

    Great interview questions here…

  • Bluemont John

    Hey, Arlnow: How about info on how readers can contribute a few bucks to help the guy out? Is there an address we could mail contributions to?

  • Akimbo

    This is a cautionary tale for any other hotel who is asked to host a DMV event.

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