Three Orange County men are suing Newport Beach’s Balboa Inn after they say they were called a gay slur and assaulted by staff in the hotel’s Italian restaurant earlier this month.
In their lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court this week, Angel Bonilla, Colton Moyer and Clement Serafin say they were visiting Balboa Island on April 13 when they decided to stop by Siena Restaurant inside the Balboa Inn for dinner.
The trio was immediately met with hostility from a woman working behind the bar, who “demanded that (the men) show their respective identification cards because she wanted to create a ruse for refusing to serve them when her real motive was to not serve gay men,” according to the lawsuit.
After viewing Serafin’s identification card, the bartender proclaimed that it was fake and then handed it to a person sitting at the bar, apparently a patron, who examined it and “commented loudly that it was ‘definitely a fake,’” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says Serafin’s identification card is not fake and that he is in his mid-30s.
“This was done with the specific intent to cause humiliation and mental suffering … because they are gay and because Bonilla is Hispanic,” the suit says.
When the men asked to speak with the manager, the bartender shouted for them to “get out” and called the men a gay expletive, according to the lawsuit.
Part of the incident was captured on two cellphone videos. (Warning: The videos below contain graphic language and content.)
In the first video, a woman can be seen saying, “get them out of here,” before a man lifts up Moyer while he’s sitting on a bar stool, pushes him across the restaurant and then tosses him out of the door.
In the second video, the man can be seen yelling at Bonilla to “get out” before he throws him onto the pavement and shouts, “You’ve been warned!”
Bonilla suffered injuries from the incident and his cellphone was broken in the fall, the lawsuit says..
The men are alleging assault, “gay bashing,” civil rights violations and emotional distress. They are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
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