Police: Bartender beatdown of 84-year-old customer

New Port Richey, Florida - A 56-year-old New Port Richey bartender was arrested after police say she dragged an elderly customer by the arm out of a club after the customer complained that a band was playing music too loud.

The incident happened around 8:45 p.m. on June 2 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club, located at 5446 Leisure Lane in New Port Richey. Police say it was all caught on a surveillance camera.

When officers responded to the members-only establishment, they found the customer, 84-year-old Audrey Nichols, sitting in a chair with several open wounds on her arms.

Nichols told police she and her boyfriend were sitting at a table listening to a live band perform. She says they felt the volume was just too loud and was unacceptable. Nichols told investigators that her boyfriend approached the band to tell them to turn down their speakers, and that's when the bartender, Patricia Smith, confronted the couple and asked them why they didn't talk to her instead of the band.

Nichols claims the bartender was rude, so they decided to leave. As they were walking by the bar, Nichols admits she called the bartender a "b****."

Smith allegedly yelled back, "What did you call me?" and Nichols replied, "I said, I called you a b****."

Nichols says that's when Smith opened the exit door, pushed her to the ground and started to beat her. But Smith tells a different story.

She says, "Next thing I know...the lady slapped me. And then she grabbed my clothes and tried to rip my clothes off." Of all the surveillance camera's at the facility Smith says that angle wasn't captured on video.

Smith admits she opened the door and took the elderly woman by her arm to escort her out but she says, "And about that time she lost her balance she fell on the floor. I just dragged her a couple of inches to get her through the door."

Smith was arrested for that but says she's a victim too. "Her boyfriend tackled me grabbed me by my neck and drugged me outside - choking me with both hands on my neck."

RAW VIDEO: Bartender accused of beating 84-year-old customer

Nichols' boyfriend took her to North Bay Hospital for treatment.

Smith was arrested and charged with battery on a person 65 years old or older. Police say while she was being taken to jail she told them, "You know, I am ashamed of what I did."

She told 10 News, "I never thought this would happen in a million years. I did not want to hurt that lady in any way."

On Tuesday afternoon members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club said Smith is no longer working at the establishment. They wouldn't comment on the incident.

Reached by phone, Smith -- who is out of jail -- says she's worked as a bartender since she was 19 years old. She says she wanted her boss to talk to Nichols and her boyfriend, to tell them not to bother the band but to instead pass on their complaints to them. She says a band member was clearly upset after being approached by Nichols.

Smith says, " I regret I came behind the bar." Smith is now looking for a new job.

PHOTO GALLERY: NFL Cheerleaders Braving the Elements!


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment