Fayetteville Police Department officers arrested a 29-year-old woman at Yeehawg on May 19 on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct, according to an FPD arrest report.
Officers were dispatched to Yeehawg at 9:30 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from a Yeehawg bouncer, in which the bouncer explained that two women refused to leave the bar despite being notified that the bar was having a private event, according to the arrest report.
Yeehawg employees promoted the May 19 event, a charity crawfish boil, through social media posts and flyers, none of which specified that the event was private. These posts have since been taken down, along with the Yeehawg and Shotz Bar Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The two women, Erin Roussell and Mika McKinney, who have been in a relationship for over a year, entered the bar three times and were asked to leave each time, according to the arrest report. When they entered the bar for a fourth time, David Bass, owner of both Yeehawg and Shotz, saw the two and put McKinney in a headlock before dragging her to an exit, according to the report.
At this point, others at the bar became involved and started pushing bouncers and Bass, according to the arrest report.
When police arrived on the scene, Roussell was lying on the ground crying on the Yeehawg patio. Roussell wanted police to watch the video she took of the incident, but police officers did not think a crime had been committed against the two women and did not take a formal report from them, according to the arrest report.
Roussell’s video of Bass removing McKinney from the patio has garnered over 18,000 views on Instagram and Facebook as of 7 p.m., May 22.
Roussell and McKinney refute the police report and were not asked to leave, they said.
McKinney sustained injuries including scratches and bruises to her back, knees and elbows and swelling to her back, she said.
“Even if they (had) told us to leave three times, and we didn’t, since when is it okay for a guy to bodyslam a girl onto the ground for that?” McKinney said. “Never. That’s never okay, ever.”
Business owners can refuse service to anyone on their property for any reason, and if the person refuses to leave, they are trespassing and breaking the law, FPD Sgt. Anthony Murphy said in a message.
Bass and his attorney, Gary Barrett, are in the process of gathering statements, available audio and video recordings and arrest records surrounding the incident, Barrett said in an email.
“Once we have gathered all of the factual information, our goal is to have a formal statement regarding the incident by the end of the week, if not sooner,” Barrett said.
Allen Franco, the attorney representing Roussell and McKinney, released the following statement from his clients:
"The actions depicted in this video speak for themselves. We ask that any person who believes a woman has the right to bodily integrity avoid the Yeehawg and any of its associated businesses. Fayetteville is recognized as a city dedicated to protecting members of minority groups, including the LGBTQ community, and promoting women's equality. We look forward to working with the City to ensure the proper administration of justice and hope this terrifying event never happens again."
Roussell’s hearing is scheduled for July 12, according to the arrest report.
This is an ongoing report. The Arkansas Traveler staff will add updates as information is made available.