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Posted on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Lawsuit alleges college student was severely beaten by bouncers at The Fifth Quarter in Ann Arbor

By Lee Higgins

A college student from Livonia is alleging in a lawsuit that at least two bouncers at The Fifth Quarter nightclub in Ann Arbor severely beat and choked him last year, then threw him out on the street while he was unconscious.

Geoff Gaylor is suing The Fifth Quarter, 26-year-old Timothy Phillips of Pinckney and 28-year-old Dominik Gumul of Ann Arbor, seeking an unspecified amount of money.

Phillips and Gumul are awaiting trial on charges of aggravated assault and assault and battery after Ann Arbor police investigated the Feb. 6, 2010, incident.


fifth quarter

According to the suit filed last week in Washtenaw County court, Gaylor was a customer at the South Fifth Avenue club that night. The suit claims that bouncers, including Phillips and Gumul, "grabbed, severely beat and choked" Gaylor until he was unconscious.

The suit alleges those two and other employees then put Gaylor, a basketball player at Madonna University in Livonia, on the street while he was unconscious. Gaylor was hospitalized with a "severe head laceration and traumatic brain injury," the suit says.

The suit claims the bar was negligent in failing to properly train employees.

Phillips could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Gumul, who worked part-time at the bar, told that he is shocked at the allegations being made, but had no further comment.

Attorney David Rosenberg, who represents The Fifth Quarter, did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

The club was recently listed for sale for $1.8 million. City officials have been in talks with club owners about the possible non-renewal of the bar's liquor license due to numerous police calls to the location.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

Quick note to author: the alleged victim is not "a basketball player at Madonna University" he is a student there who plays basketball.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

Excellent work Kelly and thank you for the explanation. I take that the reinstatement of Mr. Lounsbury's comment means that mistakenly took that one down and is sorry for the mix up. We certainly wouldn't want to assume any guilt on any party. I'm sure Mr. Lounsbury will forgive for its mistake.

Kelly Davenport

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

Two comments were removed because they speculated about the guilt of people involved in this incident. As a reminder, we don't allow speculation or assumptions of guilt in stories involving criminal or legal proceedings.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

"The suit alleges those two and other employees then put Gaylor, a basketball player at Madonna University in Livonia..." Why is it relevant to the story that he played basketball at Madonna? If it has relevance why didn't my link to his basketball statistics have relevance?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Sounds like the Fifth Quarter owner needs to hire Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot to clean that place up a bit. Heck, if they film it they might even be able to make a cult movie out of it.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

I don't understand why this incident is getting posted all over when there has been similar incidents over the past year. One where the kid was severely beaten then his friend got pulled over driving to st. joseph hospital going 80 on washtenaw. Then there was another extremely violent beating that resulted in a large amount of blood having to be cleaned up by an employee. As a result of this later incident Jeffrey Fieger represented the victim. I hope the public nuisance and the respondeat superior claims here come through and punish the lack of any sort of leadership at the bar.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

I have never known a bar owner/owners that train for bouncers. My son was a bouncer many years ago and was never trained. The owner liked his size, personality, and calm-ness. The owner of the 5th. Quarter should have called police before this got violent.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

We have been pursuing more information on this incident, and will continue to. The court file does not contain any additional details, and we've been trying without success for several days to talk to the Ann Arbor police investigator who handled the case. As we obtain details on what occurred here, we will report them.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

A2Lover - What you seem to be suggesting is age discrimination. As if college aged young men do not have the ability to handle such a job. I find that prejudice. And the fact is that crime happens anywhere and everywhere. But since you're the expert can you maybe share with us and perhaps the Fifth Quarter owners what to do. I'm glad Craig posted the stats of this individual. Seems he got better during his 2009 and 2010 year than his previous two years. Doesn't sound so "traumatic" to me. I think should gather more information on this case. It seems really odd that these two men would allegedly attack a random customer who stands 6'8'' and weighs 200lbs. That's a big dude! We must be missing part of the story.


Fri, Apr 8, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

Kara - if age were an accompanying characteristic of maturity than based on that theory there would be no excessive force issues with police officers. The fact of the matter is that anybody can be caught up in such a case. The filing of a civil suit only takes a filing fee and paperwork. The club may hire "club going aged-dudes" to better interact with "club going aged-dudes and dudettes". Ever "club where club going aged dudes and dudettes go" in Ann Arbor hires the "club going aged dudes".


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

Tyler, discrimination is how people get hired. If there were no discrimination, there would be no basis on which to hire one person over another. That said, strict discrimination based on age is illegal, but A2Lover was implying that age is only an accompanying characteristic to the important one in this situation: maturity. It sure seems strange to me that a club would hire club-going-age dudes to tend to the front door.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:34 p.m. isn't happy with a lot of things. More importantly, I feel that the truth of the matter is what is most important and that as journalists they have a responsibility to that. If is highly relevant to the article that the allegedly badly beaten man played better the next two seasons after the incident and if I'm not mistaken, the record also indicated that he played a basketball game two days after the fight. Doesn't that sort of thing require some kind of medical clearance?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Tyler, evidently A2,com wasn't happy I posted a link to his stats. They seem to have removed the post.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

trespass, while you have a point I personally don't think Madonna would play him if he was suffering lasting effects from a brain injury. That's my opinion.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

A traumatic brain injury can result in symptoms such as short term memory loss, which you might expect would not affect his basketball stats. Let him present his evidence in court before you dismiss his brain injury.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

He's probably only 6'7"...they always fudge those numbers :)


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

What no link to the original story of this alleged beating? And I only add alleged so as not to be censored.


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

I've heard rumors of similar incidients to this one occurring ever since this place has been open...and lots more when it used to be "Oz". It needs to be shutdown and the owners sued for everything they are worth.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

I don't mean to down play the incident and the nature of his &quot;severe head laceration and traumatic brain injury,&quot; but I did find his basketball stats for the season following the incident, as well as his career stats <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;sg=MBB&amp;sea=NAIMBB_2010&amp;team=550&amp;plr=33344</a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;sg=MBB&amp;sea=NAIMBB_2010&amp;team=550&amp;plr=33344&amp;tab=2</a>


Thu, Apr 7, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

Traumatic brain injury very often will have subtle but serious symptoms, such as sleep impairment, emotional lability and cognitive deficits, that do not necessarily affect sports abilities.

Jimmy McNulty

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

I am curious as to the details that led up to the alleged severe beating. Bouncers, as a whole, do not normally just beat up random customers but are there to keep some semblance of order. I do not recall the original story, but was there any info from the bouncers' or witnesses' perspectives?


Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 10:38 a.m.

The Fifth Quarter should be shut down immediately. Any social venue that hires bouncers knows that you hire security guards (bouncers) of a mature age, men who have some savvy and life experience. You do not employ testosterone-laden, pumped up, immature young men, who want to show off their masculinity in front of others. This club has demonstrated more than enough times that the people running it have not a clue how to control the people who frequent the place, nor (it seems) the people they employ. Obviously the owners have a quick-buck mentality, however, and Ann Arbor would be better off without this atrocious venue.

Brian M.

Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

I mean, they're 26 and 28, how old do you want?