BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - KEPR has learned the same Kennewick bouncer who severely assaulted a customer is now being sued by another customer. Michael Cates says he was also roughed up by Jack Didley's employee, Matthew Hibbard. The lawsuit can be found here. It names Hibbard along with another bouncer and the owners of Jack Didley's nightclub.
Cates filed the personal injury suit claiming assault, negligence and defamation. Cates himself was charged with assault for a fight between patrons and bouncers back in February of 2011. He was acquitted and charges against other customers were eventually dropped. No bouncers were charged in that fight. Cates claims he was shoved down, thrown in the street and stomped on by Jack Didley's employees. The suit says he had a serious head injury and vision loss.
KEPR reached Cates by phone at his home in Seabeck Friday. He told Action News he needs constant care due to his injuries suffered that night. He now lives in Kitsap County after living in the Tri-Cities since the early 80's. Cates told KEPR he moved away because he feared for his life.
To get all sides, KEPR also tried reaching Jack Didley's owner Todd Jones, bouncer Matthew Hibbard and bouncer Benjamin Trudeau at the bar in downtown Kennewick. Our call was not returned.
In January, Hibbard was convicted of third-degree assault with aggravating circumstances for an attack on a Jack Didley's patron last July. Ben Ensign was left with debilitating injuries. His family told KEPR he'll likely to be in assisted living permanently. Hibbard will be sentenced on that crime next week.