Video shows man getting punched outside of downtown Chattanooga's Boneyard Bar

Police determine patron was aggressor, close case

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / A portion of the chassis of a 1967 Ford Econoline van decorates the wall at the Boneyard Bar on Friday, May 13, 2022.

A surveillance video uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday shows a man punched in the face by a security guard outside the Boneyard Bar on Station Street in downtown Chattanooga, then left on the ground as the guards closed the doors.

The man was identified in an incident report from the Chattanooga Police Department as Caleb Lewis Young. He was trying to enter the bar through the rear entrance when the security guards blocked him from doing so.

Soon after, Young was shown being struck in the face by one of the guards and falling to the ground unconscious.

The guard "stated that Mr. Young balled his fist, swung and struck another security guard," the report said. The guard "stated he then struck Mr. Young directly in the face."

In the first few seconds of the nearly four-minute video, Young struggled with security guards to gain entrance to the bar. The guards then pushed him, causing Young to fall on his back. As Young tried to get up, he stumbled and fell on the restaurant's sign before the guards stopped him from entering the bar. Young then took a swing at one of the security guards before he was punched in the face by a guard.


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"Upon arrival, I observed Mr. Caleb Young on the ground bleeding from the head and mouth," the incident report stated. "Mr. Young smelled strongly of an odor consistent with an alcoholic beverage."

A second security guard could be seen in the video -- taken by a security camera across the street from the bar -- dragging Young by the shirt and pants across the ground and placing him closer to the benches in front of the bar.

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"We have reviewed this event," Assistant Police Chief Jerri Sutton said Wednesday in an email to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "It was an assault where the patron was the primary aggressor. The patron threw the first punch at the bouncers and assaulted one of them."

The case has been closed, Sutton said.

The bar's co-owner, Lewis Armistead, called 911 after Young lost consciousness, according to the incident report.

Armistead said in an email the Boneyard's priority is the safety of its patrons, staff and neighbors.

"On Oct. 7, a patron became violent while being removed from the Boneyard," Armistead said. "The private security team we hired defended themselves. We strive to preemptively mitigate events like what happened on the 7th before they become an issue. We do not condone violence and will be reviewing the protocols of the private security team we hire and will make changes where necessary."

In the video, the security guard could be seen dragging Young to the benches, then entering the bar holding the restaurant's sign and closing the door behind him, leaving Young alone.

A few minutes later, a woman accompanied by a group of people could be seen in the footage talking to bystanders as she pointed to Young. She then walked over and gave the man aid. Young was transported to Erlanger hospital by EMS.

Attorney Robin Flores, who was just retained by Young, issued a statement on behalf of his client Thursday afternoon.

"My client has suffered significant injuries that will require continued dental and medical care," Flores said in an email to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "The video alone speaks for itself as to the level of violence and complete disregard for human life displayed by the persons seen in this video. We fully intend to seek all relief this young man deserves."

Boneyard Bar opened its doors earlier this year under a repurposed decor concept, offering patrons a variety of food and drinks. Armistead and Jared Padovani are the co-owners.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter @LaShawnPagan.