Student repeatedly punched in face by bouncer at York Uni ball after headbutting him

The student was later arrested on suspicion of assault


A University of York student was punched repeatedly in the face by a security guard at the University of York Students’ Union Summer Ball.

In footage seen by The York Tab, the man in his 20s is held down by security and struck in the face three times after head butting a bouncer.

The student was treated by paramedics in the early hours of Wednesday morning before being arrested on suspicion of assault.

The incident took place at York Racecourse at around 2am on June 5th after the student was refused entry to a silent disco, which had been cleared following the closure of the event.

The security guard has since been suspended for the assault, pending further enquiries. Another guard attended hospital for a dislocated knee after being kicked by the student whilst trying to contain him.

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On being turned away from the disco, witnesses described to The York Tab how the student headbutted a bouncer, causing blood to come from his nose.

The student was then “detained” by around five members of security staff.  One student, Amy* reported seeing the man walking down the stairs looking “quite out of it” before assaulting the security guard.

She said: “The guy was walking down the stairs quite out of it, then just head butted one of the bouncers in the face. Then immediately, all of the bouncers surrounded him and detained him.”

Molly*, another student attending the event, spoke to a member of the security team on shift who confirmed that the man had committed the assault. He said: “I spoke to one of the bouncers and they told me he did [headbutt a bouncer]”.

A second year chemistry student, who was working as a bartender at the venue at the time of the incident, told The York Tab that, although he didn’t see the headbutt himself, he saw “blood coming from one of the bouncers’ noses”.

A large crowd gathered as the student was restrained on the stairs outside of the silent disco by five members of security staff, where “lots of shouting” was heard.

A large crowd gathered as the student was restrained on the stairs outside of the silent disco by five members of security staff, where “lots of shouting” was heard.

The footage shows around five to seven security staff bringing the student down to the floor before holding him still, with one security guard holding his arms firmly around the man’s neck. Shouts of “what’s going on?” can be heard from the crowd watching.

Whilst being held down, the student then moves suddenly as if resisting, before he is punched in the face three times by a security staff member.

Pinning the student’s left arm to the ground, the security guard uses his right arm to deliver the blows, two of which hit the left side of his face and with the other landing on his nose.

Another member of security intervenes, seemingly extending his arm in front of the student’s face to stop the security guard from throwing further punches. In the background, gasps and shouts of “woah, woah, woah” can be heard among students who witnessed the incident.

Another member of security seemingly attempting to stop the security guard from punching the student further

The footage then shows the student being carried down the stairs by the security team, where a witness can be heard saying “they’re strangling him”. First year student James* told The York Tab that the man looked to be in pain whilst being carried outside: “He struggled on and was clearly in some form of pain, whether that be from the guards or whatever had happened before.”

Second year history student, Tolan*, told The York Tab that he saw the student being “held in the air and carried down the stairs by five bouncers all holding him very tightly, one of which was around his neck.”

Having asked a staff member what had happened, Tolan was told: “[The bouncer] needs sacking mate, he’s just punched [the student] in the face whilst he’s being held down by five of them.”

The student was carried outside of the venue, where he was placed lying on the floor whilst paramedics attended to him. Security guards continued to surround him. Second year student Sarah* said she saw the man “on the floor face down”, whilst Tolan said the student appeared to be “not moving”. James also confirmed that the student was placed in handcuffs.

The student in handcuffs outside York Racecourse venue after being forcibly removed

In additional footage obtained by The York Tab, the student can be seen lying on the ground whilst another attendee says to the security team: “You punched him repeatedly”. A student who also witnessed the incident tells them: “It’s not f*cking necessary is it”.

At around 2:20am, three police vans arrived at York Racecourse. Members of security proceeded to ask students to “leave the premises”, telling them to “keep moving, don’t film.”

A spokesperson for Adante Group Limited said: “I can confirm that a member of the security team was attacked (head butted) by one of the attendees simply for refusing him entrance to an area that was being cleared following the closure of the event on that level.

“The attendee became very aggressive and was therefore restrained and ejected from the venue, which also resulted in another member of security staff being kicked and having his knee dislocated. This resulted in the staff member being taken to hospital after treatment care from the onsite medics.

“The aggressor was detained outside the main building, police were called and the aggressor was arrested.

“I have been presented with video footage of some parts of the incident on the stairs and can confirm that certain actions during the removal of the aggressor can not be justified or condoned, and the individual has been suspended from duties pending further enquiries.”

A spokesperson for the North Yorkshire Police told The York Tab: “We were called to reports of an incident of an incident at a private event at York Racecourse at around 2:15am [Wednesday 5th June].

“A man in his 30s reported that he had been assaulted, resulting in facial injuries. We arrested a man in his 20s on suspicion of assault and an investigation is ongoing.”

A spokesperson for the University of York’s Students’ Union said: “We are aware of a serious incident at the Racecourse on Tuesday 4th June during the Summer Ball. The police were called shortly after 2am following a physical altercation between a member of externally contracted security and a guest after which one man was arrested.

“Further police investigations are underway. The safety and welfare of students and staff is our utmost priority. We will be supporting the police with investigations and are liaising with a range of specialist medical, venue and external security staff who are involved in the event to review the incident and support any affected individuals.

“Emerging reports and footage are very concerning. We know that this will have been a disappointing end to the event for those who witnessed the incident. Given the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to comment further at this stage.”

A spokesperson for York Racecourse said: “York Racecourse was pleased to help York University Students celebrate their achievements at the Annual Ball. The event was attended by nearly 4,000 people and the overall mood was one of enjoyment.

“The stewarding for the event was provided by a recognised contractor, employed directly by the organisers, York University Students Union. The stewarding team were neither Yorkshire Racecourse employees nor their contractors.

“An isolated incident at the close of the event, resulted in attendance by North Yorkshire Police, who dealt with the incident.”

A spokesperson for the University of York said: “We were very concerned to hear of a distressing incident at York Racecourse during an event which was meant to be a celebration for students. We are appalled by footage that has emerged and we understand an arrest has been made and the police are investigating.”

*Names have been changed to protect witnesses’ privacy

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