Police Officer Attacks Unarmed Restrained Patron at Nightclub

By Steve Lyttle

McClatchy Tribune Wire Service

Published: September 3, 2009

Salisbury police have launched an investigation into the actions of off-duty officers during a brawl last weekend at a nightclub.

One officer has been placed on administrative leave, amid allegations that police punched two patrons during the fight.

A portion of the brawl was captured on videotape by a company that was recording the concert taking place last Friday night at the La Bamba Club, on Klumac Road in southwest Salisbury.

Police had been hired on an off-duty basis to provide security for the event. Three people were arrested as a result of the fight that broke out, but one of those arrested, Michael Fox, said he was beaten with a flashlight and a nightstick and started bleeding.

His brother, John, said he was punched by a police officer.

Salisbury police Chief Mark Wilhelm told NewsChannel 36, the Observer’s news partner, that his department is looking into the actions of police during the fight, but he added, “You only have a video of what they want you to see.”

Michael and John Fox told NewsChannel 36 that they plan to file charges against an officer.

Police said the officer on administrative leave with pay is Kareem Purando.

Groundbreaking Video Productions, a Rowan County-based company, was taping the show and provided the video that police are using in the investigation.


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