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Jack Didley’s Bouncer Appealing Assault Sentence – Right, or Wrong?

Matthew Hibbard
Courtesy of KEPR-TV-Facebook)

It’s been one of the most polarizing, compelling stories over the last year in the Mid-Columbia.

Last July 4th, Ben Ensign was dropped on his head as he was being removed from Jack Didley’s Nightclub in Downtown Kennewick.   He had been removed twice before for rowdy behavior, but nightclub surveillance video shows security staff dropping him in such a manner that he sustained severe head injuries after being taken outside.

The video shows two security workers, one carrying him by his legs, the other under his arms.    Matthew Hibbard, one of the security workers and a manager at the club, was convicted of felony assault with aggravating circumstances.  Ensign continues rehabilitation in a Spokane facility, but his long-term prognosis is not promising that he will ever be the person he was before the incident.

Now, the issue has become even more polarizing as Hibbard is appealing his sentence.   Sources say it’s the first step towards appealing his entire conviction.   Reports indicate family and relatives of Ensign are very upset by Hibbard’s appeal.

Adding to the issue is a history of other patrons being removed with what some are saying is excessive force from the nightclub.  One other patron, who has reportedly filed a civil suit against the club, says he suffered permanent injuries after being ejected.  Another patron who was kicked out of the club wound up in a physical altercation with security, but after seeing security footage, the Benton County prosecutor declined to press charges, saying the case would have probably been dismissed in favor of the patron.

Hibbard will be making an appearance, reportedly sometime this week, before a judge on this matter.

(Photo courtesy of KEPR-TV Facebook page)

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