Bradey Wolford was a half-hour into his first Father’s Day as a dad when the attack happened.
A fight among other customers at Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar, the new waterfront attraction in a quiet neighborhood in Sparrows Point, had caused security to clear the bar about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, said his fiancee, Corina Grierson, and his cousin Paige Parsons, who said they were both with him at the time.
As the Anne Arundel County 23-year-old and others headed to wait for an Uber, about eight or 10 people who had been fighting inside started raining punches on him and others out of nowhere, then kicking him and others after they fell to the ground during a chaotic scene in the 4300 block of Shore Road, Wolford’s relatives said.
Each time Wolford tried to stand, they said, the assailants kicked him again in the face.
He wasn’t the only one; two other people were injured in the incident, according to Baltimore County police. No arrests or suspects have been announced.
“The whole road just looked like a mob went through it,” Parsons said. “People were just knocked out on the side of the road.”
Wolford was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where surgeons placed metal plates in his dislocated jaw and wired it shut, she said. Between the jaw injury and the loss or chipping of many of his teeth, he likely will have to eat and drink through a straw for the next two to eight weeks, his cousin said.
“His jaw was literally hanging off his face,” Grierson said. “The bottom jaw was dislocated and broken in two places.”
A GoFundMe online fundraiser for Wolford, who does not have medical insurance, had received more than $6,000 in donations, as of Wednesday. He and Grierson have a son who is less than a year old, and he is helping raise Grierson’s daughter from a previous relationship.
“He didn’t even get to see his son on Father’s Day, and it’s his first Father’s Day,” Parsons said.
Tiki Lee’s owner David Carey — who also owns Lee’s Pint & Shell in Canton and Lee’s Landing Dock Bar in Port Deposit — did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. The sprawling bar was mostly empty except for workers during a visit Wednesday afternoon.
Employees and management are gathering the facts on “what appears to be an isolated incident that happened outside of company property,” the bar said in a Facebook post Monday.
Grierson and Parsons criticized the bar and its security for clearing all of the patrons — not merely those who were involved in the fight.
“They basically just pushed us into the problem,” Grierson said.
Devon Mobus, a security supervisor with Baltimore Protection Services who works at the bar, said he had finished his shift about 9 p.m. Saturday and wasn’t present during the incident.
But other security personnel reported “a lot of pushing” by other customers in the crowded bar while they were removing the group that had been fighting, Mobus said.
He rejected the notion that security should have stepped in as the violence spilled outside the bar’s premises.
“If it’s not inside the bar, we’re not allowed to do anything,” he said. “That is [the jurisdiction of] Baltimore County police. … Anything we do, we could get a criminal charge pressed on us.”
Reactions to the melee varied in a neighborhood that is still adjusting to the presence of a large Tiki bar, which opened in May on the spot where a smaller, quieter marina once stood. (Tiki Lee’s kept 100 boat slips and offers access from the water as well as the land.)
Tom Kopriva’s house is mere steps away, separated from the bar by chain-linked fence and temporary orange plastic fencing. The 67-year-old’s parents bought the property as a summer house in the early 1960s, and he inherited it in 1998, he said.
When other neighbors learned of the plans for the bar, they asked Kopriva to sign a petition against it. He declined.
“I was glad they were finally doing something with this property,” he said.
The bar owner agreed to build a new, private access road to the bar and add trees to buffer sound as concessions to the neighborhood, said Kopriva, a retired physical education technician. The bar employs a “large security staff,” he said.
“It amazes me something like that happened,” Kopriva said. “This is the first I heard about it.”
Carol Martin, who lives down the street, wasn’t so shocked. She pointed out the orange traffic cones neighbors have placed near their properties to keep away bar patrons, who she said sometimes urinate or vomit on the street.
Martin’s grown daughters, ages 28 and 25, enjoy Tiki Lee’s. She won’t set foot inside.