Man claims he was beaten unconscious by security at Oktoberfest

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by Maggie Crane / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 1:46 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis man claims a security guard beat him unconscious at this weekend’s Oktoberfest.

The 65-year-old suffered a broken eye socket and bruised ribs.

There are still a lot of questions about what happened, but Oktoberfest planners tell me that they will work with police.

Bill Hernlund reported the attack to police on Sunday, when he was released from the hospital.  But there’s a gap in information between when Hernlund was knocked out and when he came to for emergency surgery to save his left eye.

Hernlund is nursing a nasty black eye, a fractured eye socket and bruised ribs.  He says a security guard knocked him unconscious outside Soulard’s Oktoberfest when he walked out with a beer.

“All of a sudden this guy in some type of like yellow rain coat uniform comes running up to me and says ‘hey you can’t take that beer out of here,’ and I’m half way down the sidewalk—a public sidewalk,” Hernlund said.

Hernlund says when he told the guard that there was no sign and nobody at the gate to stop him that the guard got angry.

“Suddenly he went like this and just started beating, beating and beating on me,” Hernlund said.  “He beat down to where I was on my hands and knees in the gutter right off the sidewalk, and he just rears back and kicks me as hard as he could right in the eye.”

Hernlund woke up in an ambulance.  He’s not sure who saw what or who called for help.

Police want to hear from witnesses as they try to figure who’s responsible.

Oktoberfest planners tell me they hired off duty cops and private security for the event.  Police confirm that private security did wear yellow jackets as Hernlund described.

Soulard Oktoberfest publicist Kim Gordon talked to me by phone and sent me the following statement for this report:

“Since the inception of Soulard Oktoberfest in 2004, we have done everything possible to ensure the safety of everyone at the festival. We are looking into the alleged incident. And we will do everything we can to work with the St. Louis Police Department if there is an investigation.”

 

 

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