published Saturday, May 5th, 2012

LSU fan sues Tide fan, Krystal over taped abuse

An LSU fan who is best known for an ill-timed nap in a New Orleans Krystal restaurant is suing those involved, including the Chattanooga-based Krystal Co.

Before he woke up from his postgame stupor, a heavily shared cellphone video of his sexual abuse at the hands of a group of Alabama enthusiasts had made the rounds on the Internet, and added another layer of humiliation to the Crimson Tide's historic rout of the Tigers.

Now the fan, whose name is being withheld because he is the alleged victim of a sexual assault, has filed a lawsuit in state court against his alleged antagonist, Brian Downing, as well as Krystal.

Krystal Spokesman Albert Waterhouse said the company is aware of the lawsuit, but has yet to see it.

"As such, we are not prepared to comment on the allegations nor do we comment on pending litigation," he said.

The lawsuit also names franchise owners Big Easy Enterprises.

The LSU fan claims that the actions of Downing combined with the inaction of restaurant employees have brought him "embarrassment, humiliation and mental anguish."

He says in his complaint that "while plaintiff was incapacitated, defendant Brian Downing exposed his genitals and engaged in [a] number of lewd and lascivious acts that included touching plaintiff with his genitals and simulating sex acts upon plaintiff."

The acts committed by Downing have been widely described as "tea bagging," the complaint says.

His complaint alleges that one or more employees of the restaurant knew what was happening, yet did nothing.

Employees "failed to intervene as to ensure the safety and well-being of the plaintiff," and "demonstrated a callous indifference toward the plaintiff," failing to "undertake appropriate and reasonable measures to provide safety and security to plaintiff while in the Krystal Burger restaurant," according to the complaint.

In a previous statement in January, Krystal asserted that Big Easy Enterprises employees had broken up the crowd as soon as the incident came to their attention.

"One of their employees notified the manager as soon as they were aware of the incident taking place in the dining room, at which time they took action and dispersed the crowd," said Waterhouse. "We are appalled that this despicable incident would ever occur and something like this has never before happened in our restaurants."

Following the original incident, Downing turned himself in on Jan 20. The New Orleans District Attorney has until June 20 to decide whether to prosecute, according to the Times-Picayune.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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