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
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
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
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
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
(AmericanMafia.com 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,
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
"IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT"
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
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.
by REED HOFFMANN/SPECIAL
THE LV REVIEW-JOURNAL
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.”
CLIP OF VIOLENT SCENE FROM
Stafford: If you thought
those days were long gone, take a look at this.
VIDEO OF BOUNCER BRUTALLY
BEATING PATRON AT VEGAS BAR
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.
VIDEO OF AMY HENRY WITH HUSBAND
AND CHILDREN IN BETTER TIMES
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
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
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
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
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
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)
VIDEO OF KIRK HENRY IN EXTENSIVE
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
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?
AMY HENRY: Right.
VIDEO OF CHILDREN HUGGING
FATHER IN BED
Kirk and son Jared
by REED HOFFMANN/
TO THE LV REVIEW-JOURNAL)
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.
VIDEO OF HENRY IN ELECTRIC
KVBC TV News
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
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
DON CAMPBELL: The Crazy Horse
is infested with a rogue’s gallery of criminals, drug pushers, thieves,
corrupt ex cops.
"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.
VIDEO OF BOUNCER BEATING
STAFFORD: The club is since
shut down and this bouncer was convicted of two counts of battery with
substantial bodily harm.
ADDITIONAL VIDEO OF BOUNCER
BEATING BAR PATRONS
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.
VIDEO OF KVBC TV NEWS ANCHOR
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.
VIDEO OF GLEN MEEK
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)
VIDEO OF EBEN KOSTBAR AT
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.
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
(AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike Christ)
TONY SGRO: Kirk Henry pans
out to be someone who is at worst case scenario completely fabricating
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
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.
VIDEO OF SGRO POINTING TO
AREA WHERE HENRY WAS INJURED
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
SGRO: At seven in the morning
its very dark inside the club and he’s going to walk out this door.
VIDEO OF DOOR OPENING INTO
STAFFORD: Drunk and disorientated
by the bright morning light, Sgro says Kirk Henry fell off the curb by
VIDEO OF STAFFORD AND SGRO
IN BAR ENTRANCE:
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
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
VIDEO OF AMBULANCE
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.
VIDEO OF KIRK HENRY IN HOSPITAL
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.
END OF TRANSCRIPT
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