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Man assaulted by performer at Funkstown lounge seeks $400,000 in suit

July 17, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A man who was assaulted by a performer at Mitzi's Gentleman's Lounge in July 2007 filed a civil suit Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court against the woman and the Funkstown establishment.

The man is seeking a total of $400,000.

Bethany Ann Smith, 27, was found guilty of second-degree assault in the July 29, 2007, incident.

Smith, who was performing that evening, slapped Larry Davis, a customer, in the face and left the lounge, charging documents show.

Smith, whose last known address was 53 Elizabeth St., Apt. 1, in Hagerstown, was found guilty of the second-degree assault charge and on July 3 was sentenced to six months in jail, Washington County District Court documents show.

The jail time was suspended and she was ordered to serve 12 months of supervised probation.

Davis asked for $100,000 in punitive damages and $100,000 in compensatory damages from Smith, and the same from Gulsen K. Pierpoint, owner of the lounge.

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Davis was inside the lounge with friends when he got in an argument with Smith, charging documents in the criminal case show. Smith slapped Davis during the argument, according to the records.

Smith had three prior criminal convictions of which the lounge should have been aware, Davis contended in the suit.

Washington County District Court records show Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in 2003. She also twice in 2003 pleaded guilty to using a bad check. Additional information about the crimes was not available because court records were destroyed due to the age of the cases.

Because Smith was "carrying out her duties as a performer at the time of the attack," Mitzi's is liable for the battery on Davis, the suit charged.

The attack was unprovoked, Alton E. Drew, who filed the suit on Davis' behalf, said Wednesday.

Pierpoint declined Wednesday to talk to The Herald-Mail about the suit. She wanted to consult an attorney, Pierpoint said.

Smith no longer works at the lounge, and hasn't worked there since the night of the assault, Pierpoint said.

Phone numbers listed for Smith's address had been disconnected, as was a cell phone number.

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