Bouncer's hit leaves victim in hospital

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 30/12/2013
Darren Workman
ROSS GIBLIN/ Fairfax NZ
LONG RECOVERY: Darren Workman in Hutt Hospital yesterday with a smashed knee after allegedly being forcefully ejected from the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club. With him is his father, Ken. 

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A builder has been told he may not walk for six months, claiming a bouncer slammed him into the ground at Upper Hutt's Cossie Club.

A bouncer has been stood down from the club after the incident on Friday night, which left Darren Workman with a shattered knee.

Workman will welcome in the new year from his hospital bed, and plans to lay an assault complaint with police.

He says he has been told his injuries are likely to put him in a wheelchair, and he expects to miss out on a host of building contracts.

He says he was ejected from the Cosmopolitan Club - better known as the Cossie Club - about 11pm on Friday after he got into an altercation at the bar with someone who "slapped" him.

The longstanding club member claims a bouncer then picked him up by the lower legs, took him outside and threw him to the ground from shoulder height as his partner looked on in horror.

"I did nothing and he just manhandled me. Even if you did do something, you should never use force on people like that."

Photographs taken of Workman's injuries immediately after the incident show his leg bent at an odd angle and his dislodged kneecap around his inner thigh.

He was taken to Hutt Hospital by other club members, where he remains, bedridden with his leg braced as he awaits another round of surgery.

Surgeons found the ligature under his kneecap was torn and he would need more MRI scans to determine whether he needed to be in a wheelchair, he said.

"I won't be walking on it for six months, that's what the surgeon said. He told me he'd never seen one like that - in all his years, that knee was the worse he'd ever seen."

Workman and his brother built homes together, and his injuries had put their work in jeopardy, he said.

"This is going to cost me. I've taken on contracts and this has really put me in a situation. That bouncer has seen to that."

He said he would be seeking legal advice as he faced loss of income and mobility from his injury, and he planned to press assault charges against the bouncer.

The incident has shocked many members of the Cossie Club, a cornerstone of the Hutt Valley social scene that boasts more than 7000 members and first opened its doors in 1961.

Workman's father, Ken, who has been attending the club for 40 years and has been on the executive in the past, said what happened to his son was not in the club's character.

"It's supposed to be family-friendly."

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Even if his son had deserved to be kicked out, his actions did not merit that level of physical force, Workman said.

Cosmopolitan Club manager Dean Candy said a bouncer had been stood down and the club would be investigating the incident to determine its next steps.

The bouncer concerned was an employee of a private security firm that the club subcontracted, Candy said.

"We will be looking at this intently, because this is not the sort of thing that happens in our club."

He said the Cossie Club community had been disturbed by what happened to Workman.

"It's going to be a hard time for him.

"I'm shocked and disappointed that this has taken place and we're going to get on top of this."

- The Dominion Post

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