CAUGHT ON CAMERA; altercation at local bar causes concern

Medford, Ore. — A Facebook video is going viral. The video was taken outside Howiee’s On Front, early Saturday morning. The Facebook video was posted Saturday and has around 2,300 views. As of Monday evening, more than 40 people have commented.

“How many security guards they had there and how many people had to jam their knee into my back, smashing my head into the dirt. That’s too wrong,” PJ said, the man being arrested in the video.

“I was basically struck that it was happening at the moment,” Rodell said, PJ’s friend who was recording the incident.

“Walking through a crowd and it was a mosh pit happening. I’m not thinking anyone knew it was a mosh pit happening, and so everybody was getting pushed. So the security guard came and started to push us out,” Rodell said.

PJ and Rodell were at the bar early Saturday morning when things became violent.

“Next thing I remember, I’m just being thrown by the security,” PJ said.

Rodell recorded a Facebook Live video outside the bar. It shows security trying to restrain PJ on the sidewalk outside the bar.

“I couldn’t see. I didn’t know who was on top of me, I didn’t know what was going on,” PJ said.

“They threw him on the ground here and like three people jumped on him and that’s when I started filming,” Rodell said.

A few minutes into the video, Rodell said he saw things escalate.

“I can see them with billy sticks about ready to jab him. And I was like – don’t jab him. Why are you jabbing him and smashing his face into the ground,” Rodell said.

As Rodell started questioning the security team, the situation got tense.

“That’s when I immediately got maced for filming the altercation,” Rodell said.

PJ was taken to jail and charged with disorderly conduct.

“Just the way they did it was excessive force. It’s just too much – like, I didn’t need that. I think they maced me, from what I’ve been told, like two to three times,” PJ said.

Rodell was allowed to leave, but most likely won’t be returning. Both men said the video shows the security guards went too far. They hope it’s seen by more people and encourages Howiee’s On Front to change the way its security team handles customers.

“I want someone to deescalate the situation. There’s plenty of ways to go about deescalating a situation besides physical violence,” Rodell said.

NBC5 News reached out to Howiee’s On Front, the bar said it has no comment at this time.

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