Stabbing victim sues Hanover Twp. bar
Last Modified: February 23. 2013 2:47PM
WILKES-BARRE – A Wapwallopen man has filed a lawsuit in county court against a Hanover Township tavern after he says he suffered injuries during a fight with a bouncer there in December.
Bruce Fine filed the suit through his attorney, Neil O’Donnell, against the Slate Bar and Lounge on the Sans Souci Parkway.
Fine alleges the tavern was negligent and careless in failing to train its security staff and employees, and it failed to properly provide clothing that distinguished security.
Fine was stabbed during a fight with Edwin Cortez, 35, of Front Street, Nanticoke, on Dec. 8, Hanover Township police said.
According to the criminal complaint:
Cortez, wearing street clothes, was one of several bouncers collecting a $5 cover charge at the tavern’s front door.
Fine and three friends, Jennifer Ruchinski, Jason Girton and his wife, Chastity Girton, arrived at the tavern to purchase a 12-pack of beer.
Fine claimed he told the bouncers they only wanted to buy beer and leave. Bouncers told Fine that only the women were permitted inside and the two men needed to wait outside.
Fine and Girton protested, telling the bouncers that they were not going to allow Ruchinski and Chastity Girton inside by themselves.
Words were exchanged; Cortez allegedly yelled to Fine, “I have something special for you,” before pulling out a knife and stabbing Fine in the stomach, the complaint says.
Girton wrestled the knife away from Cortez, who allegedly fled out a rear door. Police and a canine tracked Cortez to a site near Nanticoke, where he was arrested.
Cortez was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 27 before District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township.
In court papers, Fine said he had to have emergency surgery and continues to suffer pain and emotional distress. He is seeking in excess of $50,000.
Slate Bar owner Antonio Mannino could not be reached for comment Friday.