ALE agent David Miller was belligerent and threatening in a fight with a Bier Garden manager and an employee on May 24, manager Malcolm Knighten asserted in a 911 call that night.
Knighten dialed 911 shortly after the fight began. Listen to the call here:
“I’ve got a fight in my bar,” Knighten says on the recording of the call. “I guess this guy’s a police officer, but he’s just making threats and cussing at people. He’s physically fighting my bouncer right now. We suspect he may or may not be intoxicated.”
In the background on the recording someone, presumably Miller, can be heard saying “you’re going to get maced for real, dude,” at bouncer Michael Plemmons after the fight started.
ALE supervisor Alan Page has alleged that Miller was writing tickets for employees and their friends illegally drinking after hours when he was suddenly assaulted, unprovoked, by Plemmons. Page also asserts that Knighten later struck Miller twice with a bar stool before both he and Plemmons were arrested.
In the 911 call, Knighten said that Miller was pepper-spraying Plemmons. The manager tells Plemmons, “Mikey, hang on until the police get here,” and then, after screaming and sounds of a struggle are heard in the background, shouts to Miller, “You’re not acting like a cop at all and I don’t believe you are.”
The call ends with the arrival of Asheville Police officers.
Knighten was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, while Plemmons was charged with assault inflicting serious injury. Charges of resisting arrest and interfering with an Alcohol Beverage Control inspection were later added. Page has also said that ALE might pursue administrative penalties against the bar. He told Xpress today that he would have more information on the agency’s course of action later in the week.
— David Forbes, staff writer