On the last weekend in June something happened at the National on 10th. It was a brutal fight for Joseph Lord no one disputes that but as with anything. the devil is in the details and those details are very much in dispute.

As the 26-year-old Lord and his girlfriend Jewel Redlong tell it they were at National on the night of June 29 for a staff get-together with Redlong’s co-workers. They say it was a good time. Lord says he drank a beer and three shots over the course of the evening was in good spirits and was making plans over where to go next.

Then talk turned to women. Lord says he remembers saying something offensive in that conversation and was immediately hit in the head by an anonymous fist. That beginning and the ensuing brawl that ended with Lord handcuffed in an ambulance sounds like every bar fight in recorded history.

The twist is who beat Lord to a pulp? The sucker punch likely came from one of several large men Lord may have insulted. However Redlong Lord and several of their friends allege National’s doormen didn’t dive in to break up the fight but participated in the beating.

Lord says he was knocked unconscious by the initial punch. Redlong says the fight started quickly but is sure she saw the bouncers allow it to continue while Lord lay on the floor and then began assaulting him themselves.

“I was smiling laughing talking to friends and all of a sudden I woke up underneath bouncers and I was screaming ‘get off of me help’ and there was no one there to help because it was the bouncers who assaulted me” says Lord.

“I’ve seen bad fights but I’ve never seen this. He got kicked in the face” says Redlong. “He didn’t hit back he didn’t fight back.”

Lord says he regained consciousness again in an ambulance parked outside National. Frightened and angry he demanded they let him go home. He says the paramedics deemed him medically fit and the police released him without laying charges.

Police did remain on the scene to take statements from witnesses including Chris Moore one of Redlong’s co-workers. Moore says he didn’t see the fight begin but he did see it end.

“There was three on him total. His hands had been twist-tied. I have pictures of that like him on the ground twist-tied” says Moore. “They were just beating him up. I didn’t see him act aggressive towards them. Maybe I missed something though. I mean I didn’t as I said before I didn’t see the whole thing so I just saw the aftermath and it was graphic. It was unnecessary it was brutal. I don’t know how else to explain it.”

Photos shown to Fast Forward Weekly from that night show Lord apparently unconscious on the floor of National his hand behind his back.

Lord speculates that if National’s staff participated in the beating it’s because the people he and Redlong were with that night are bouncers from other Calgary bars and because many in the industry know each other the mix of bouncers felt obliged to join in on the fight rather than stop it.

The next day Lord Redlong and friends who were there made their allegations public on Facebook to mixed reactions. Allegations came back at them that Lord was acting irrational that night that he picked a fight with a “giant” from his own group and “got dropped in very short order.”

Facebook commenters also accuse Lord of kicking and screaming to the end spitting blood and barely containable for the doormen who were only trying to restrain him until the police arrived. There is also speculation that Lord and his friends are implicating National’s door staff in order to benefit from a lawsuit against the club. These claims are all supported by statements from National.

National staff have not spoken with Fast Forward Weekly despite requests to speak with the manager in charge. Concorde Group which owns National has communicated exclusively through its media spokesperson Sarah Geddes. Geddes insists that while Concorde’s lawyers have advised them not to release possible security footage of the event Lord’s story is not true.

“I would strongly suggest you’re receiving false information that is not remotely accurate” says Geddes.

“National places upmost (sic) importance on the safety and security of all our guests and staff. While we aren’t able to comment on the specifics of this incident the version you’ve been presented with is not what transpired. We stand by the actions of our team members to ensure the safety of all patrons and guests including protecting the individual involved from further harm” reads Concorde’s official statement.

After Fast Forward Weekly’s repeated requests to view the security camera footage from that night Geddes added that “security footage is private and recorded for internal purposes only — it is not for public viewing or dissemination to media.”

Seeking further comment Geddes spoke with the executive team of Concorde and released a second statement. “Joe [Lord] picked a fight with a guy twice his size who he (or his girlfriend) has history with they got into an ugly fight and Joe was punched in the head several times resulting in heavy bleeding” she says in an email. “The bouncers did their job by stepping in to break it up and what is incredibly ironic given his allegations saved him from further harm. At no time did they hit him in the head he was bleeding extensively when they intervened and the injuries portrayed on the terrible Facebook photo were from his fight with this individual not the staff (we have six written statements corroborating that).”

She says Lord was uncooperative and that it took two bouncers to hold him down until police arrived on scene and that Lord returned the next day and was “argumentative and threatening” to staff before being asked to leave. He refused and the bar called the police to have Lord removed she says.

The one Facebook commenter who claimed to have witnessed the fight and accuses Lord of going berserk before being restrained and arrested has not responded to numerous requests to repeat his claim to Fast Forward Weekly. Several people who Lord and Redlong say witnessed the incident and would back up their story have also failed to answer persistent interview requests.

Lord steadfastly maintains his version of events is true and says his injuries can serve as proof he was brutally attacked. He admits he did return to National the next day to retrieve his car and demand to see the security footage of the fight and does not understand why police referred him to the primary officer on the case instead of helping him obtain the footage.

It’s the kind of back-and-forth story that highlights one of the biggest issues with assaults of this kind. The only thing that is clear is that Lord was assaulted — provoked or unprovoked is largely irrelevant — and sustained serious injuries.

After being treated at the Rockyview Hospital and by his family doctor Lord says that as a result of the fight he has a concussion memory problems a broken nose a punctured lower lip two black eyes a large lump on the back of his head cuts and bruises on his head forehead face throat ribs shoulder arms and legs and damage to his throat.

He admits the attack began after he verbally insulted another bar patron but argues he was incapable of fighting as some say as he was unconscious for most of the brawl. He also says that he wasn’t on drugs that night or at any other time because as a reservist in the Canadian Forces he is subject to random drug testing. Canadian Forces Communication Officer Lyndsay Tessier confirms military members are subject to random drug testing.

“Prior to being hit the last thing I remember was a conversation with Chris [Moore]. I was not loud and aggressive with him I never spat at him threatened him or threw a fist. I remember regaining consciousness underneath the doormen yelling for help and struggling to get up” says Lord.

“With regard to acting aggressive with the authorities I can say definitively that I was unconscious from the time the police arrived to when I regained consciousness in the ambulance. When I woke up I was surprised by my state of physical condition and did not know who I could trust considering it was the doormen who participated in the assault. It is true I was furious that there was no one to help me and somehow I was the one arrested. Keep in mind I was discharged by the paramedics as medically fit when they should have taken me to the hospital. I may have spat blood because I was yelling or possibly out of disrespect for individuals who are neglectful of their duties. I never struck threatened or in any way harmed the police or paramedics. I lost control of myself in a fight-or-flight state of mind before they took the handcuffs off determined to reach the safety of my house. If I was so threatening and responsible for the incident why would [the arresting officer] have released me?”

Lord wants National’s doormen charged with assault and to file a lawsuit against Concorde.

Police have not laid any charges and have made little headway on the case. The Calgary Police Service attributes the delay to the force being swamped with added duties related to the Stampede and the primary officer being on vacation. CPS representatives say that because it’s an ongoing investigation officers are limited in what they can say about the case but that they are interviewing witnesses and reviewing CCTV footage in the area.

Lord says he is desperate to see National’s security footage insisting it will verify his account of events. Yet police advised him National has the right to delete it before showing it to anybody. He adds that his inability to get in touch with the primary officer on the case leads him to think nothing will come of his efforts to have charges laid.

Moore also says he’s surprised police are moving so slowly.

“They haven’t followed up with me. I am fairly surprised yeah because I did assume that it was assault and battery” says Moore.

While Lord faces skepticism from some that security staff at a bar would attack there is precedent in Calgary. Claudia Goodyear says that in October 2011 her son Bobby was beaten by bouncers at the now-defunct downtown Distillery leaving him with a broken foot and hand. She says two staff members from the nightclub were charged though she alleges more were involved and lawyers are still working on a lawsuit.

“He was an innocent bystander when the bouncers and a group of patrons swarmed him and started kicking and punching him to the ground. It happened in front of the Calgary Court Building [sic] and thankfully a security guard witnessed the ordeal and it was caught on security camera as well. The police were able to use the footage and our son has a copy of the video” says Goodyear.

That certainty and those results are rare in a situation like this one where alcohol is almost always a factor to one degree or another. Goodyear had a sober witness and video footage. Normally when the dust settles and the blood is cleaned from the floor there begins a long game of he said she said that plays out in media or courts or that simply fades away. Bouncers and patrons are both accused of acting too aggressively. Nobody doubts the pressure and stress the doormen work under to maintain a calm and safe environment under these conditions.

The one fact that remains in this case is that Lord was severely beaten within National and has shocking wounds to prove it. No one denies that. No charges have been laid against Lord or whoever might have beat him. The police are too busy to comment or act the bar is not willing to share video footage that would corroborate their story or Lord’s and all that’s left is a bloody reminder of a night in Calgary gone bad.