Former DC Mayor Vincent Gray Says Bouncer Pushed Him During Dispute Over ID

"I just went flat out on my back on the pavement," the 75-year-old said

D.C. Council member Vincent Gray, a former mayor of the city, says he was injured when a bouncer at a nightclub pushed him on Saturday, causing him to fall.

Gray, 75, told police an employee pushed him at the gay bar the DC Eagle, leaving him with injuries. The Metropolitan Police Department classified the report as assault.

"I wound up hitting the pavement. I just went flat out on my back on the pavement. And he literally came out and stood over me and said, 'You're faking,'" Gray told News4. 

Management said in a statement that Gray refused to provide proper identification and was told to wait outside.

Sheila Bunn, Gray's chief of staff, said the Council member went to the DC Eagle on Benning Road NE about 9:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the city's Art All Night celebration. Dozens of venues hosted events. 

An employee at the door requested Gray's identification and the Council member showed his D.C. Council ID, Gray said. 

According to Bunn, the bouncer said Gray had to show an ID with a birth date on it.

"I said, 'Look, if you're gonna try to put me out of here, let's call the police,'" Gray recalled.  

"He came charging from behind the counter, ran up to me, grabbed me on, you know, my clothes, my body, and started pushing me. And he pushed me right out the door of the building," Gray said. 

The former mayor demonstrated on a News4 reporter how hard and fast the bouncer pushed him, grabbing him by the upper arms. 

Gray questioned how he was being treated, and the employee pushed him out of the door, causing him to fall. 

Bunn told News4 that Gray had said, "Don't I look old enough?"

The fall hurt Gray's back and bruised his hands, Bunn said.

Bunn said that one of the club owners came to the front door and "was horrified" that Gray "had been treated this way."

The DC Eagle gave News4 the following statement on Sunday:

"Councilmember Gray did attempt to enter the DC Eagle last night, but refused to provide proper identification to our door staff after being asked for it several times, as required by D.C. law. He asked to see an owner and was told he would have to wait outside."

Management did not comment on whether Gray was pushed. In a second statement issued Monday night, management said the bouncer has only lived in the D.C. area for four months and wasn't familiar with Gray.

"For this altercation to have occurred, we do apologize," the statement read. The bar also promised to retrain staff.

Gray said in a tweet Monday morning that he was "bruised and sore." A News4 photo showed the Council member with two small bandages on his hands. 

"I appreciate the concern and support I've received from many of you," Gray's tweet said. "It is vital that bouncers and security staff know to never lay hands on a patron except to prevent/break-up a physical altercation. Let's treat one another with respect."

Gray, who served as D.C.'s mayor from 2011 to 2014, said he wants to see the bouncer arrested and fired. 

A representative for the U.S. Attorney's Office said the office is reviewing the incident to determine if charges will be filed. 

The DC Eagle had a glam squad photo shoot, silent disco, DJ battle showcase and fire performance for Art All Night, according to the event's website.

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