Tavern patrons claim attack

Goose Creek police served a search warrant on Two Keys Tavern on Wednesday and continue to investigate the alleged attack at the College Park Road bar on Saturday.

GOOSE CREEK — Four men told police that employees at a local tavern held them against their will, took their money and beat one of them with a broken pool cue.

Goose Creek police served a search warrant on Two Keys Tavern on Wednesday and continue to investigate the alleged attack at the College Park Road bar on Saturday. Capt. John Grainger released a statement Thursday saying police seized video surveillance of someone being battered by another person with a pool stick.

An officer met the men making claims against some of the bar employees at Trident Medical Center early Saturday morning, where 24-year-old Robert Drawdy waited for a scan in the emergency room with a 5-inch-long gash in his head.

His friend, 28-year-old Matthew Laberge, met an officer at the hospital’s entrance. Laberge told the officer that he watched other Two Keys customers gamble on billiards games at 6 a.m. Laberge said one of the patrons placed a bet, which the bar manager covered, and the customer then left without paying.

That’s why, according to Laberge, the unnamed manager “became irate and ordered the bouncers of the establishment to lock the doors” with about 20 people inside, the police report says.

Laberge told the officer that the manager and bouncers demanded that someone come up with the money. Laberge tried to reason with the manager that he never bet on the game, but a bouncer then asked the manager for “the green light,” the report says.

The bouncer then grabbed a pool stick and broke it over a pool table, Laberge told police. The bouncer took the thicker end of the stick and hit Drawdy in the back of the head, rendering him temporarily unconscious, according to the report.

Laberge told police he left $100 on a table and that the bar manager eventually unlocked the front door and told the patrons to get out and “not to (mess) with Two Keys.”

Two Keys Tavern owner Mark Keller released a statement saying that the manager and employees involved in the alleged incident have been suspended.

“At this time, we are working to secure a police report and hope that will also help to clarify what occurred there late Friday night/early Saturday morning,” Keller said in the statement. “Until that time, we can’t elaborate further, since we just don’t know enough, but we will get to the bottom of it.

Keller also made a promise to customers: “They and others can rest assured that we won’t rest until we sort out what exactly happened and get this resolved.”

Two other men provided police with similar accounts that they did not participate in the gambling but had to pay to leave the bar Saturday morning. The men named one bouncer, but not the manager or the man who allegedly hit Drawdy.

Drawdy told police that one bouncer grabbed him by the back of the shirt, dug into his pants pockets and took money from his wallet.

Eric Laquiere, an attorney representing six men at the bar that night, including Laberge and Drawdy, said his clients paid money they didn’t owe with hopes of getting out of the bar that night.

“I would say it’s almost a certainty that someone will be charged,” Laquiere said. “I don’t know what those charges will be yet.”

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ allysonjbird.