Chattanooga police arrest two security guards after Boneyard Bar fight

  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Mitchell Norman

Chattanooga police on Wednesday announced two security guards were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment after a fight with a patron was caught on video in October outside the Boneyard Bar.

Both men were arrested in early December, two months after the Oct. 7 incident that left a man unconscious outside the bar on Chattanooga's Station Street.

Executive Chief Glenn Scruggs made the announcement of the arrest at a Police Department news briefing after a media outlet asked about the status of the investigation during last week's briefing.

Clarence Wiley, 31, of Chattanooga, turned himself in to the Police Department's Amnicola Highway service station on Dec. 2, according to a sworn affidavit seeking his arrest signed by an officer. Wiley was taken to the Silverdale Detention Center and bond was set at $1,000, according to the affidavit.

Mitchell M. Norman, 20, of Cleveland, Tennessee, turned himself in at Silverdale on Dec. 5, according to an affidavit. Norman also received a bond of $1,000. Both men are scheduled to appear in court in February.

"We're just happy that they've taken action," attorney Robin Flores said in a phone call Wednesday.

Flores is representing Caleb Young, the man seen in video being punched in the face and left unconscious on the sidewalk at the rear entrance of the bar.

Video footage from YouTube on Oct. 12 showed Young trying to enter the Boneyard Bar through the rear entrance when he was blocked by Wiley and Norman.

"Mr. Norman and Mr. Wiley both pushed Mr. Young out of the passageway," a Chattanooga police report from the night of the incident stated, adding that Norman then struck Young with a closed fist after Young repeatedly pushed both security guards as he tried to enter the bar.

In the video, which has since been been removed from YouTube for an alleged violation of its terms of service, Young can be seen falling backward onto the ground after being punched in the face. He remained on the ground unconscious as Wiley, Norman and a third unidentified security guard walked into the bar, leaving Young alone.

  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Clarence Wiley

The video shows Young later being dragged by a security guard, while still unconscious, away from oncoming traffic and left under a bench at the bar's rear entrance. The footage shows that security guard taking the bar sign with him as he entered the establishment, closing the door behind him, leaving Young alone again. Several minutes passed by before a group of people walked by and stopped to render aid, the video shows.

The Times Free Press previously reported bar co-owner Lewis Armistead, who called 911 after Young lost consciousness, said that although Wiley and Norman were defending themselves, he was going to look into the security team's policies.

"The private security team we hired defended themselves," Armistead said in an Oct. 13 email. "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."

After the video surfaced, the Times Free Press reached out to the Police Department to check the status of the investigation. Assistant Police Chief Jerri Sutton responded that the case was closed, adding that Young was the primary aggressor and Wiley and Norman were defending themselves.

"We have reviewed this event," Sutton said in an Oct. 13 email to the 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 is closed."

A week after the video was made public by an anonymous user, Flores filed Young's lawsuit against bar owners Jared Padovani and Armistead for $1.5 million. In the lawsuit, Young said the case was closed due to lack of investigation by the Police Department.

On Jan. 1, a new state law went into effect that requires new training for bar bouncers, including instruction in de-escalation, safe-restraint techniques, as well as emergency first aid and CPR training. The law is named after Dallas "DJ" Barrett, who died in an altercation with security guards at the Nashville honky-tonk Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in 2021.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476.

Upcoming Events