MILWAUKEE — Texas Jay’s gentlemen’s club is appealing a decision by the Milwaukee Common Council to pull the business’ license after a fight at the club in April.
The Common Council voted to suspend Texas Jay’s license for 90 days — saying the club should have done more to help the man who was hurt in the fight.
42-year-old Juan Contreras faces one count of substantial battery (substantial bodily harm with intent to cause bodily harm) in connection with the fight.
According to a criminal complaint, Milwaukee police officers on April 2nd were dispatched to the Texas Jay’s Gentlemen’s Club on S. 1st Street for a report of a fight that they learned happened around 2:00 a.m.
Officers learned through family members of the victim, Jeremy Calteux, that Calteux had been punched by someone at the bar, and he had fallen and hit his head on a door frame and a concrete floor.
Calteux was taken to the hospital, where it was learned he had suffered a skull fracture.
Officers spoke with a manager at Texas Jay’s, who indicated he had witnessed the fight. This manager told police one of Calteux’s friends had become “very belligerent” when he couldn’t locate his credit card. The manager tried to tell Calteux’s friend that he had already closed his tab earlier in the night, and one of his friends was holding onto his credit card for safekeeping. The manager said Calteux’s friend “continued to yell derogatory names” at the manager and other Texas Jay’s staff, and the man’s friends tried to escort him out of the bar. The manager followed to ensure they left.
The complaint indicates this man was able to break away from his friends, and he swung a punch at the manager but missed. At that point, Texas Jay’s staff intervened and tried to keep the man under control.
Police were able to obtain a warrant for surveillance video from Texas Jay’s, and that video was obtained by officers.
Below is surveillance video of the assault. NOTE: This may be disturbing for some. Viewer discretion is advised.
That video shows that while the man with the credit card issue was struggling with Texas Jay's staff, Calteux walked calmly over to the area, and appeared to be trying to reason with the man as staff members worked to get him out of the bar. As Calteux was walking to the area where the struggle was happening, a bar patron wearing a dark shirt was seen putting an arm up to impede Calteux from getting any closer.
The Texas Jay's manager was able to identify that bar patron as Juan Contreras, a regular at Texas Jay's.
The complaint indicates the video shows Calteux appearing calm, and trying to reason with everyone involved in the struggle.
Shortly after Contreras allegedly put an arm up to try to stop Calteux, the video shows him punching Calteux in the head, according to the complaint.
Calteux then fell to the ground without the ability to brace himself. The video shows Calteux appearing to hit his head on a doorway and again on the concrete floor as he fell.
The man with the credit card issue then squared up against Contreras and that man was punched on the side of his head by a different man who had been involved in the struggle, according to the complaint. The man with the credit card issue also appeared to lose consciousness, according to the complaint.
The video shows bar staff dragging the two unconscious bodies to the front entrance of the bar and left them for several minutes until they regained consciousness, according to the complaint.
"Skull fracture, hemorrhaging on the brain. He was in ICU for four days and he was in the hospital for 11 days total. And he developed Bell's Palsy," Lynette Zaragoza, Calteux's mother said.
Police say Texas Jay's never reported the assault. During a hearing before the Milwaukee Common Council's Licensing Committee Tuesday, May 31st, the attorney for Texas Jay's said bar staff were asked by Calteux's friends not to call police -- that he was OK and just drunk.
But Calteux's attorney says bar staff had an obligation to call for an ambulance.
"Jeremy truly was an innocent victim," said Attorney Christopher Stawski. "He did absolutely nothing wrong that night."
Contreras is set to stand trial in this case. He has a final pre-trial hearing set for July 13th, and a jury trial set to begin in August.
"Jeremy's been very damaged both physically, financially...and I think psychologically," Stawski said.
A conference on this issue is scheduled for August 11th.