The pub that University of Virginia student Martese Johnson was allegedly trying to enter and was denied from before being arrested by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents released a statement Saturday, providing a witness account of the events of that night.
Johnson’s arrest has garnered attention nationwide after a video of his arrest and a picture of his face bloodied circulated on social media.
Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville released a statement on Saturday. The pub’s statement gave a detailed description of the events that led up to Johnson’s arrest.
It states that the pub’s managing owner, Kevin Bradke, questioned Johnson after he presented an Illinois ID but could not confirm the zip code printed on the card. Bradke said he could not accept the ID, and after a brief “cordial and respectful” conversation, Johnson left and began walking north on University Avenue.
“According to Mr. Badke, this is a test he frequently uses to determine if a patron is using a fake ID. If the ID doesn’t belong to them, they are not familiar with some of the details on the ID. Mr. Johnson provided the wrong zip code, although it was close to the one on the license. Mr. Badke immediately responded that he could not accept it. Mr. Johnson, probably realizing the reason for the error, stated that he had moved. At this point, Mr. Badke and Mr. Johnson had a brief conversation because Mr. Badke is from the south side of Chicago, where Mr. Johnson indicated he was from.”
Bradke also noted that Johnson did not appear to be intoxicated “in the least.”
The pub denied reports that management was belligerent towards Johnson or that Johnson was belligerent towards them.
“Those allegations are patently untrue, as the brief conversation that occurred was polite and cordial. Mr. Badke’s observation was that Mr. Johnson was a disappointed patron.”
Furthermore, the pub also denied that it engages or engaged, in this incident, in racial profiling in not permitting Johnson to enter.
“The rationale for allowing patrons to enter – being familiar with the zip code on their own license – is color, gender, race, and ethnicity-blind.”
The pub added that it has been interviewed by and is cooperating with Virgnina State Police in their investigation.
Stay with 8News for continuing coverage on this developing story.