KENNEWICK, Wash. - The jury trial continued Wednesday for a Jack Didley's employee accused of dropping a bar patron on the sidewalk.
Family and friends on both sides of the case were in the courtroom. Many of Matt Hibbard's friends and co-workers took the stand and they all confirmed a good reputation as a bouncer who works diligently and peacefully.
"Starting from day one, he emphasizes pretty heavily that we don't strike or swing at a patron. In fact, we try to keep hands off as much as possible," said Jack Didley's employee Steven "Lee" Watson, Jr.
But on the night of July 4th getting hands-on did happen. Defendant Matt Hibbard told the court the difference in this case was that Ben Ensign was getting aggressive.
"Mr. Ensign is telling us that if we want him to leave then we are going to have to physically remove him, we're going to have to kick him out," Hibbard said.
That was Hibbard's account of Ensign attempting to get back into the bar. Hibbard said they did not try to physically remove him at that point but did have to take action minutes later when Ensign "rushed the bar" and tried to force his way in.
Then, Hibbard and another bouncer, Ray Anderson, picked Ensign up with Anderson holding his legs and Hibbard holding his upper body.
"He's squirmy, I guess is the best way to describe it. The next thing I know I see a fist come up then there's a double, tries to punch twice. One with each hand," Hibbard said.
Attorney John Jensen asked Anderson, "During this incident did you see or feel matt throw Mr. Ensign to the ground in any manner?" Anderson replied, "I was surprised he'd even let go of him, honestly."
Ensign said he was '"sick to his stomach" when he found out Ensign was seriously injured.
The defense wrapped up their case Wednesday afternoon. Jury deliberation is expected to begin Thursday.