Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Unfortunate Saga of David Klotz

Last week, I mentioned David Klotz, a 26-year-old accountant from San Francisco, who died after arguing over a $960.00 lapdance bill at the Spearmint Rhino strip club in Santa Barbara. He was having trouble breathing and died at the scene.

And why was he having trouble breathing?

Because the two bouncers holding him down choked the shit out of him.
According to eyewitness Kyle Hembree, “The guy was struggling and kicking, just fighting back for a while. But then he went limp and they just stayed on him.” Several witnesses concur that two of the bouncers held Klotz to the ground using a combination of arm holds and a forearm “sleeper,” or choke hold, around his neck. Both bouncers - who police estimated were 6 3 and 240 pounds and 6 11 and 460 pounds - remained on top of Klotz until the police arrived. According to Klotz’s friend and local resident Vincent Lara, doctors told a group of people gathered in the hospital early Saturday morning that Klotz died after approximately 15-20 minutes of asphyxiation.
David was 180 pounds, five-foot-seven and severely drunk. He had a BAC of .19.

Together the bouncers top about 700 pounds, outweighing him by almost 400%. He was asphyxiated for almost half an hour. We're talking about guys who could crush a Volkswagen between their buttcheeks. For somebody like this Walking into a room and sneezing is excessive force. A quarter ton bouncer does not need help subduing a drunk man a third his size.

So far, no one has been charged in his death. With luck, we'll see a couple of manslaughter charges soon.

Thanks to the anonymous commenter who handed me a link to the Independent story.


Anonymous said...

I posted the link and you are more then welcome! I thought that Dave and his family deserved it! Thanks so much for your last post!

Anonymous said...

If you value your life DON'T VACATION IN SANTA BARBARA. When things were good tourists and others were raped. It took many rapes in tourist area before they indicated it was a serial rapist. Things are much worse now. DON'T WANT TO LOOSE TOURI$T. It's kind of like the cruiseship crimes. The daily paper is all about cover up or directing people against anal sex to writings and a specific name. Those people must feel real safe to have Dr. Laura name and work her fans up across the country.

Anonymous said...

Most brainless bouncers end up as bouncers because they are otherwise completely and utterly unemployable outside of the "day labor" arena. They can, however, be trained to stamp out license plates.

KSinSB said...

This is the only article that got the incident details right. It was written by a local journalist AND witness to the events that happened. I was in the birdal party of the wedding Dave was in town to attend. Rest assured, we SB locals are keeping tabs on the Police, Coroner, DA, and local government over this tragedy. The latest word is that the Coroner's investigation is ongoing, exploring the possibility that the bouncers weight on top of Dave (while waiting for the police to arrive) was what caused his death. My 2 cents...bouncers in Santa Barbara are not trained in what they can legally do to a person they decide to boot from a place of business. This is not an isolated incident of bouncer violence in Santa Barbara. This tragedy will get national exposure before everything is said and done.

Anonymous said...

Why is it taking so long for the coroner's and police report? The police used this and other tragedies in their trying to get more money. Is there going to be a second coroner's report? There are serious problems with what is happening here.

lolita said...

How old are these comments? Does David have a website? It's October 4, 2006. I've NOT heard an update? What do SBPD say?

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I'm as much in the dark as anyone else on this, Lolita. There appears to be very little in the news. I did run into this from September 14th in the Independent (

"The Santa Barbara County coroner is still investigating the cause of death of David Klotz, the 26-year-old Petaluma man who died while struggling with bouncers at the Spearmint Rhino during a bachelor party. None of the obvious indications of asphyxiation – bruises to the throat, neck, or larynx – were present, nor was there any evidence he choked on his own vomit. But the coroner is still investigating whether the combined weight of the two bouncers – 690 pounds – who sat on Klotz after a brief altercation over lap dance fees could have caused positional asphyxiation."

Other than that, all appears to be quiet. I wouldn't be surprised if it took a while to get things moving o this. If the DA's office feels they have a case it can take some time to get everything in order before they prosecute. Considering that, according to the news report above, the coroner hasn't found anything indicating he died of asphyxiation, this one might never make it to court.

Christine Braga said...

I have never seen this before. But Dave was my friend. We went to junior high and high school together and anyone who has ever known him would say he was one of the kindest people you will ever meet. This was a plain and simple a senceless act of violence. It should not have happened. The DA in Santa Barbara decided there was not enough evidence to press any charges against either bouncer. Dave you will be missed forever!!!

Here are some of the articles I have, there are more if you are interested.