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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

DATELINE NBC Finally Tells
of Brutality at Crazy Horse Too
Vegas Mayor & DA's Inaction Inspires National TV Exposé

"They don’t settle disputes by taking them to court. They settle disputes – its very clear throughout the history of the club – by engaging in acts of intimidation and acts of violence." -- Don Campbell, former Chief of Department of Justice Organized Crime and Drug Task Force in Nevada

                                Accused assailant Bobby D'Apice
                                      (KVBC TV News)

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
August 9, 2004

LAS VEGAS - Based on my years of writing INSIDE VEGAS columns about the violence-plagued Crazy Horse Too topless bar, NBC News West Coast Producer Anthony Galloway interviewed me several months back to gather information for a DATELINE NBC segment about Sin City's darkest secret.

I provided Mr. Galloway with my files including sealed police reports and photos, many taken by the bar's embattled next door neighbor Buffalo Jim Barrier, in hope his network exposé would shock Vegas officials into finally closing the public nuisance before anyone else is injured or killed.

The sickening story of intimidation, credit card fraud, coercion, brutality and the political corruption that harbors it, started coming together. Over the next several months I provided NBC News with almost daily updates including statements from bar patrons who said they were threatened or beaten, some after refusing to sign inflated credit card bills. Last Sunday, forty million Americans were exposed to my city's dirtiest laundry, and questions were raised as to how something so sinister could continue unabated in a city the mob supposedly abandoned many years ago?

For three years, Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has been asked to close down the blood-soaked bar which is located within his city's jurisdictional limits, but he obviously didn't have the guts to offend some of his former mob clients, or to interfere with his partner or sons making money defending Crazy Horse hoodlums.

Goodman's partner, attorney David Chesnoff, has been hired to defend Crazy Horse Too shift manager and reputed mob figure Vinny Faraci in case he's indicted later this summer. Chesnoff is also the mentor to fledging criminal defense attorneys Ross and Eric Goodman, the mayor's sons.

                      KVBC TV News

On Sunday, August 8, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith reported that Faraci is also engaged in a business transaction with local police officer Dave Radcliffe, something Clark County Sheriff Bill Young frowns on. The last time Young discovered one of his officers involved in a business deal with Rick Rizzolo, the bar's purported owner, Young demoted the officer for ''accepting gifts from suspects and consorting with persons of ill repute."  Its yet to be decided what Radcliffe's punishment will be for his business association with Faraci, an ex-felon who is under investigation by the FBI.

Faraci hired Radcliffe to sell his estate, possibly so he could transfer its liquid assets to relatives before they can be confiscated by the feds.

In the meantime, many speculate that the cozy relationship between Crazy Horse executives and LV Metro cops and politicians is the reason the bar's liquor license has not been revoked while beatings continue to be reported --  two within the past four weeks.

Now, after our city has been disgraced on national TV, I can only blame Goodman's refusal to revoke the Crazy Horse's privileged business license on cowardice, or possibly on his devotion to his son's successful futures and the clientele they can harvest at the Crazy Horse.

I have also written on these pages about our timid District Attorney David Roger who joined Goodman in turning his back on dozens of police reports of robberies and beatings at the Crazy Horse Too.

             DA David Roger

On October 25, 2001, a month after Kansas tourist Kirk Henry's neck was allegedly broken by a steroid-pumped Crazy Horse employee, Mayor Goodman requested I come to his office at City Hall. His invitation made me think he was going to take action to end the mayhem.

Instead, Goodman started our tense meeting by nervously saying "I am not doing any favors for Joey Cusumano," though I did not bring up Mr. Cusumano's name. Joey is a suspected hidden owner of the Crazy Horse and one of Goodman's former clients with alleged connections to the Bonanno crime family. Other suspected Crazy Horse owners and former Goodman clients include Al Rapuano, Vinnie Faraci, and Joey "The Clown" Lombardo.

During the rest of the City Hall meeting we discussed the ongoing violence, and then he asked how to bring a license revocation item before the Council (as if he didn't know)? However, during the months following our meeting, Goodman did not follow through in any way and the beatings continued. Despite being fully aware of the problems at the bar, he soon sponsored two custom ordinances to specifically benefit the Crazy Horse; one to allow the bar to expand within 1000 feet of another adult business, the other to allow teenage strippers to work in city strip bars.

I had been schmozed by the biggest schmoozer in town!

Then, on Feb. 21, 2003, eighty FBI agents raided the Crazy Horse and seized the contents of Rizzolo's office along with video surveillance tapes, computers, and ATM machines.

Feds haul off Rizzolo's files (KVBC TV News)

The same morning, according to Chicago newspapers, Joey "The Clown" Lombardo went into hiding and was suspected of turning federal witness in cases that may involve Las Vegas connections. That afternoon, Mayor Goodman mysteriously called me again. He asked if we could meet as soon as possible. At 8 AM the next morning, we met in the middle of the street in front of my home.

  Goodman schmoozing Miller after FBI raided his former client's bar
                ( photo by Mike Christ)

As we dodged traffic, Goodman looked disheveled as if he hadn't slept. He was obviously nervous as he rubbed my shoulder while looking at the ground never once making eye contact. He stated he could not revoke the Crazy Horse liquor license during a federal investigation. I knew I was being schmoosed again.

I countered that a liquor license revocation is a civil proceeding, and the federal investigation was a criminal action. That the civil action would not have a bearing on the federal action, so he could freely proceed with the revocation.

I also told Goodman that since our uneventful City Hall meeting 16 months earlier, additional beatings took place including those of Eben Kostbar and Paul Russo, and that if he did not take immediate action I would hold him personally responsible for further beatings or killings at the bar.

He turned and walked away without responding and the violence continued while his former law firm profited by representing Crazy Horse employees. It almost looked like he was shaking down the bar to generate business for Chesnoff, et al.

I believe the inaction of Oscar Goodman and David Roger is responsible for allowing our city to suffer last Sunday's disgrace on national TV.

Roger, who accepted -- then returned -- $45,000 in campaign contributions generated by Rizzolo, ignored requests for prosecution from a number of legitimate local cops including Lt. John Alamshaw who asked that those responsible be prosecuted for their crimes. And Goodman, after being informed on numerous occasions that people were being beaten and killed at his former client's place of business, did nothing.

Now, thanks to Goodman and Roger's cowardice or greed along with DATELINE NBC's shocking story, Las Vegas has gained an unwelcome new slogan: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!

DATELINE NBC - Transcript
Sunday, August 1, 2004
Producer: Anthony Galloway
Editor: Paul Venus

LESTER HOLT: Millions visit for fun, never expecting this. A nightclub employee viciously beating a customer. It might look like a scene from the movie “Casino,” but this man says he too was beaten at another club, and that violence in Vegas can be all too real.

KIRK HENRY: They took most of my life away.

HOLT: A Las Vegas nightclub nightmare. Dateline with Stone Phillips will continue after this brief message.


STONE PHILLIPS: Coming up. It’s a well-known topless bar in Las Vegas, and it denies its employees did anything wrong. But he says what happened there changed his life forever.

KIRK HENRY: There’s never a day that goes by that there’s not something that I can’t do anymore.


PHILLIPS: A look at what some say is the dark side of Las Vegas. From our studios in New York, here again is Lester Holt.

HOLT: To millions of visitors, Las Vegas is a grown up fantasy land, a place to lose yourself and your inhibitions. And everywhere, the lure of gambling and adult entertainment. But the man you are about to meet had no idea what a gamble he was about to take when he went out for a night on the town. Here’s Rob Stafford.

AMY HENRY: Its one of those things you just don’t think will ever happen to you, like something you read about or see on TV.

ROB STAFFORD: There are two sides to every city, and Las Vegas is no different. There’s the public side with its shiny lights and towering hotels, and the dangerous side. A side of Vegas that most people only see in movies like “Casino.”


Stafford: If you thought those days were long gone, take a look at this.


STAFFORD: Kirk Henry says he’s seen this side of Vegas. What happened to him was painfully real and devastated his whole family including his wife Amy.


STAFFORD: When the minister said “Through good times and bad,” you’ll stick it out…

AMY HENRY: I had no idea.

STAFFORD: You had no idea how tough it would be?

KIRK HENRY: Everything looked very bright like the future was going to be great, and it was until this happened.

STAFFORD: The Henry’s story is a cautionary tale of how one moment in one night can change an entire life. In the blink of an eye this couple from Kansas would find themselves a long way from home. Facing a frightening ordeal that would stretch into the darkest corners of this city and into a world of sex, violence and intimidation. This journey started in late September 2001. Kirk, a computer network developer, went to Las Vegas to close a business deal. Amy was home in Kansas with their two kids. After a day of meetings and a night of gambling, Kirk and a business associate took a cab to a well-known topless bar called the Crazy Horse Too. Needless to say, Kirk didn’t plan to tell Amy about that part of the trip.

AMY HENRY: Had he called and told me he was going, I would probably given him a little bit of trouble.

STAFFORD: Oh, I bet you would have!

AMY HENRY: If I would have said it was me going to a male strip club…

STAFFORD: Kirk and his business associate arrived at the club and Kirk said they were welcomed by topless dancers greeting them with a lot more than open arms.

KIRK HENRY: The dancers were just hounding us. One after another they would approach the table.

STAFFORD: They wanted lap dances?

KIRK HENRY: Exactly. And they just were ruthless. They just wouldn’t stop. And you couldn’t just relax and have a drink. They would just keep coming at you.

STAFFORD: Kirk said he finally gave in a paid a total of sixty dollars for three lap dances. He also drank some beers, quite a few actually, and said he paid cash for each. Kirk’s colleague left sometime that night, but Kirk stuck around until the early morning. And that, he says, is when trouble began.

KIRK HENRY: The dancer comes up to you and says ‘This guy owes me eighty dollars.”

STAFFORD: And what did you say?

KIRK HENRY: I told her I didn’t owe her anything. She was crazy!

STAFFORD: Kirk said the dancer called the manager on duty, a man he soon learned was Bobby D'Apice.

KIRK HENRY: He said, “You need to settle your tab.” I said I didn’t open a tab and I’m not going to pay you a tab I didn’t open. And I looked at the existing cash I still had in my wallet and I remember pulling out sixty-six dollars, and I said “I have this much money in my wallet. I don’t owe you this because I was paying as I went. But if it makes you feel any better, I’ll leave this with you and we can call it even.”

STAFFORD: After slamming more than sixty dollars on the bar, Kirk said he headed for the front door. He remembers taking a few steps outside, but said he was not allowed to go.

KIRK HENRY: I felt myself being grabbed from behind. At that point I heard a loud grunting noise sort of like when someone is lifting weights. I heard almost a snarl and felt my neck being twisted violently downward to the left and I fell to my right shoulder and immediately tried to get back up, but I couldn’t.

STAFFORD: As he lay in the parking lot in front of the club, Kirk Henry said the manager on duty, Bobbie DiApiece, took his wallet and walked back inside and charged Kirk’s credit card, but he also called 911 and an ambulance rushed Kirk to a Las Vegas hospital where this home video was later recorded.

                            Kirk Henry being transported
                    (Photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier shown on DATELINE NBC)


                                     KVBC TV News

STAFFORD: The doctors found Kirk with a broken neck, spinal cord damage, and they began surgery immediately. When Kirk’s wife Amy arrived from Kansas fifteen hours later she couldn’t comprehend the news.

AMY HENRY: When the doctor called me after the surgery, he said it was worse that what they had anticipated.

STAFFORD: Worse than expected?

AMY HENRY: It was one of the worst broken necks he had ever seen. He said it looks like someone tried to twist Kirk’s neck off his shoulders.

STAFFORD: What is your prognosis?

KIRK HENRY: They’re not sure. It depends on the swelling.

STAFFORD: Forty-five year old Kirk is paralyzed from the chest down. Barring a medical breakthrough he will never use his legs again. Moving his arms and hands takes complete concentration.

AMY HENRY: I tell him not to give up hope, but it gets to a point when you realize there is nothing – no feeling.

STAFFORD: That your husband won’t be able to walk again?



                Kirk and son Jared

STAFFORD: It was nine months before Kirk made it back home to Kansas after spending almost a year in rehabilitation learning to live life in a bed and a wheelchair.


                             KVBC TV News

STAFFORD: As Kirk recuperated, the local police investigated. Still, Kirk and Amy couldn’t believe that Bobby D'Apice, the man Kirk said attacked him, had not been arrested.

KIRK HENRY: He snapped my back and took most of my life away. He attacked me for no reason – no good reason – why would a person do that?

STAFFORD: So the Henry’s decided to fight back and to sue the Crazy Horse Too. Don Campbell is Kirk’s attorney.

DON CAMPBELL: The Crazy Horse is infested with a rogue’s gallery of criminals, drug pushers, thieves, corrupt ex cops.

    Crazy Horse "rogue’s gallery" (L to R) Greg Liosi, Bobby D’Apice,
           Joe Blasko, Ray Randazzo, Mo McKenna, Vinnie Faraci
                                    (KVBC TV News)

STAFFORD: Campbell, a former Assistant US Attorney, was Chief of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Task Force in Nevada. He told the Henry’s he was familiar with a lot of employees of the club.

CAMPBELL: And I didn’t know them because I met them in church. I knew them because I prosecuted and put some of them in jail.

STAFFORD:  Now working as a civil attorney, Campbell also represents victims from an assault at a different club not associated with the Crazy Horse called the “R & R” where a bouncer attacked two people after towing their car from a parking space. It was all caught on tape in graphic detail.


STAFFORD: The club is since shut down and this bouncer was convicted of two counts of battery with substantial bodily harm.


STAFFORD:  While the vast majority of clubs in Las Vegas are safe, law abiding businesses, attorney Campbell says the video from the R & R demonstrates a culture of violence that also exists at the Crazy Horse Too.


NINA RADETICH: The allegations sound like a plot from the TV show “The Sopranos.”

STAFFORD: The year after Kirk’s alleged beating, more allegations of violence at the Crazy Horse were uncovered by Investigative Reporter Glen Meek of the NBC affiliate KVBC.


STAFFORD: Meek interviewed not only Kirk, but two other alleged victims including Eben Kostbar, an LA model seen here in a workout video.
                    Eben Kostbar (KVBC TV News)                                                Paul Russo (KVBC TV News)


STAFFORD: Kostbar said a Crazy Horse bartender brutally beat him in July 2001, just two months before Kirk Henry’s alleged assault.

DON CAMPBELL: They don’t settle disputes by taking them to court. They settle disputes – its very clear throughout the history of the club – by engaging in acts of intimidation and acts of violence.

STAFFORD: No ones been arrested or charged in Kostbar’s case or Kirk Henry’s case. But these allegations of intimidation and violence have caught the attention of the FBI, which has started its own investigation. The feds have interviewed Kirk Henry and last year they raided the Crazy Horse as part of a probe into an alleged pattern of sticking customers with inflated tabs and beating them if they don’t pay up. And what does the club have to say about the allegations? Its attorney Tony Sgro denies everything.

           Tony Sgro, Vinnie Faraci, Bart Rizzolo
        ( photo by Mike Christ)

TONY SGRO: Kirk Henry pans out to be someone who is at worst case scenario completely fabricating a story.

STAFFORD: Sgro says no one from the club attacked Kirk Henry and there is no pattern of abuse or overcharging customers despite the FBI raid and the claims made by both Henry and LA model Eben Kostbar.

SGRO: Eben Kostbar. He has pictures of bruises, a black eye, says he got in a dispute with a bartender here and was beaten up. I don’t believe he was ever here!

STAFFORD: Did you pay him?

SGRO: Over our objections the insurance company paid him what they call ‘nuisance value” to leave us alone.

STAFFORD: So Eben Kostbar with those bruises is lying? Kirk Henry in a wheelchair is not telling the truth? But the Crazy Horse Too is being honest.

SGRO: Eben Kostbar didn’t get hurt at this club. Kirk Henry took a bad situation and he made it worse by accusing innocent persons of wrongdoing.


SGRO: It would have been in this general area.

STAFFORD: Attorney Sgro says Henry fabricated his story to win a lawsuit. He said Kirk spent seven hours drinking at the club and had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

SGRO: At seven in the morning its very dark inside the club and he’s going to walk out this door.


STAFFORD: Drunk and disorientated by the bright morning light, Sgro says Kirk Henry fell off the curb by himself.


STAFFORD: You’re saying there’s no confrontation going on right here?

SGRO: Absolutely none.

STAFFORD: Using this model, attorney Sgro showed where Henry’s neck was broken, and said respected medical studies conducted over twenty years found the location of these types of injuries points to an accident, not an assault.

VIDEO OF STAFFORD IN CLUB ASKING SGRO THIS QUESTION: You’re saying that Kirk Henry slipped on that curb. That curb is about the height of this pen (holding up a five-inch ball point pen).

SGRO: You don’t even have to fall off a curb. You can take a spill as you walk across a parking lot. You don’t even need the added height of the curb.

STAFFORD: And you’re in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.

SGRO: Unfortunately yes.

STAFFORD: Kirk Henry’s neurosurgeon says this was no accident, that someone twisted Kirk Henry’s neck and threw him to the ground.

SGRO: I think it would be more accurate to say someone or something caused an injury…

STAFFORD: But he’s a neurosurgeon. You’re a lawyer.

SGRO: That’s true.

STAFFORD: So what do you know medically that he doesn’t know?

SGRO: Well, I doubt I know much medically personally. I do know what our experts are telling us and our experts are telling us that universally the type of injury that Mr. Henry sustained is always the result of a slip and fall. Universally that’s not up for debate.

KIRK HENRY: You’d have to stick your head in some sort of a machine to get that kind of break. You couldn’t fall and do that.

STAFFORD: Were you drunk?

KIRK HENRY: Not overly drunk. I was drinking beers over a long period of time. I wasn’t just slobbering intoxicated that night.

STAFFORD: Your blood alcohol level was point two-oh, which is twice the legal limit, that’s a lot.

KIRK HENRY: Yes, I wasn’t driving.

STAFFORD: So is it possible that you were so intoxicated that you went out of the club, staggered, fell and hit your head?

KIRK HENRY: That’s absolutely ridiculous.


STAFFORD: Ultimately the truth of this story may be decided in a courtroom not far from the lights of the Vegas Strip. But the reality of what happened that morning in September transcends doctors and experts, lawyers and theorists. It goes to the heart of a family interrupted.


                               Police and paramedics respond to beating at Crazy Horse Too
                                (Photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier shown on DATELINE NBC)

STAFFORD: In the year since Kirk has become a quadriplegic, he says he’s racked up more than a million dollars in medical bills and is seeking millions more from the Crazy Horse Too. But regardless of what happens in or out of court, no amount can cover what Kirk Henry lost in one night in Las Vegas.

KIRK HENRY: There is never a day that goes by that there’s not something that I can’t do anymore. Riding a bike - teaching my daughter how to ride a bike, taking them swimming, I taught my son how to water-ski, I can’t do that with my daughter.


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