Joey Oertli was assaulted after Winter on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.EXPAND
Joey Oertli was assaulted after Winter on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Courtesy of Joey Oertli

Readers: Red Rocks Is "Not in Any Way a Dangerous Place"

Joey Oertli was assaulted by two men at Red Rocks as he was walking to his car after the Winter on the Rocks concert. A security guard watched the incident and did not attempt to intervene or chase down the perpetrators, says Oertli. Now he is suing the two attackers and Argus Events Staffing, the company that provides security for the venue.

“I don’t want my experience to deter people from going to Red Rocks,” Oertli says. “I think of it as the most beautiful place, the most amazing place in the world. I just want it to be safe.”

In response to our report on the lawsuit, readers are weighing in about the safety of Red Rocks.

Gregory is skeptical about the story:

That's what this is all about: Some asshole just wants to sue and get a quick payday.  

Tom writes:

Eh. I feel for the kid, that's an awful thing to have happen to you, but his story makes zero sense. Some kid just walked up to him out of the blue and started shit? Interesting. Also they make it sound like Red Rocks is a donnybrook or something. I really don't think I've seen a single fight during the 25 or so times I've been there in the last few years. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it's not in any way a dangerous place.

But Cody responds:

My buddy got sucker punched by a random druggie about a month ago and it was covered by Westword, too. He didn't know the guy or talk to him before getting punched in the face.

Chris adds: 

The last couple of shows I’ve been to have been like that. People shitfaced before the show starts. Drunk dudes trying to start crap with people walking in and walking out. Sadly, every time it’s been millennials at hip-hop shows thinking they’re hard. 

But Michael concludes:

I call BS, the punk got checked, end of story.

Read on for more of Westword's coverage of crime at concerts, including the Oertli case.

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Garth Jacob was assaulted at a Joe Russo's Almost Dead concert at Red Rocks.
Garth Jacob

"Man Assaulted  at Joe Russo's Almost Dead Red Rocks Concert"

A fight broke out following Luke Bryan's concert in Denver, resulting in the hospitalization of three people.
A fight broke out following Luke Bryan's concert in Denver, resulting in the hospitalization of three people.
Aaron Thackeray

"Violence After Luke Bryan's Denver Concert Leads to Hospitalizations"

A man who allegedly assaulted fellow concert-goers is treated for inebriation at the May 2 Chance the Rapper show at Red Rocks.
A man who allegedly assaulted fellow concert-goers is treated for inebriation at the May 2 Chance the Rapper show at Red Rocks.
Brandon Marshall

"Punches and Public Urination at the Chance the Rapper Red Rocks Concert"

Readers: Red Rocks Is "Not in Any Way a Dangerous Place"EXPAND
Courtesy of Joey Oertli

According to Oertli, an Argus security guard stood by and watched two men attack the 26-year-old Air Force veteran as he was walking to his car after the Winter on the Rocks concert on January 26, 2018.

That’s according to a lawsuit filed by Oertli's father, attorney Richard Oertli, in Denver District Court. The complaint is against Argus Event Staffing, which provides security at the venue, and names two men as the perpetrators of the assault: Matthew Baier, who was not criminally charged in the case, and Clay Rainbolt, who has been charged with second-degree assault and whose criminal case is still making its way through court.

“I was with my brother and my friend,” recalls Joey Oertli. Baier "came back behind me and swatted me in the back of the head, and it knocked my hood off and my cap off. The guy was running away from me and dancing all funny. I said, ‘Hey, man, why did you do that?’"

After that, Rainbolt "came up from behind me and said, ‘My friend wouldn’t do that' and shoved my face in the concrete,’” Joey continues. “My friend started helping me up, and the guy who had just driven my face into the concrete was going, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have done that.’”

According to the lawsuit, the Argus security guard said she witnessed the attacks, and while she neither attempted to prevent them nor chased down the perpetrator, she did radio for help.

What do you think about the safety at venues around town? Post a comment or email editorial@westword.com.

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