Man sues night club for allegedly serving minor who crashed into his vehicle
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A night club in southeast Houston is facing a lawsuit, accused of negligence in connection with a crash that left a man barely able to walk.
El Portal disco is accused in the suit of allowing a 19-year-old to drink, then leave the bar and cause a serious wreck. The victim, Patrick McBeth, nearly died. And he may never again walk normally.
"A lot of crying, upset. Still you have to get through it," said McBeth.
His leg was mangled, nearly severed in a wreck last April on the Eastex Freeway. Investigators say Esly Carlos slammed into the back of McBeth's vehicle at approximately 100 miles an hour. He plead guilty to intoxication assault and is serving four years now in prison.
"That's just part of life. A lot of us are in the wrong place, wrong time," said McBeth.
Carlos' blood alcohol level after the wreck measured .15 -- nearly twice the legal limit. At the scene, investigators noticed black cross marks on each of Carlos' hands. The X's commonly meant to signify those too young to drink alcohol at night clubs allowing in those 18 and older.
Carlos later told attorneys he had eight to 10 beers and a shot of tequila that night before leaving the El Portal disco.
"They launched Mr. Carlos on the road that night when he should have been in the condition he was if you are following the law," said Will Womble, attorney for McBeth.
The attorney representing El Portal disco refused our request for an on camera interview. He denies the club or its employees did anything wrong, saying that Carlos had friends purchase the alcohol for him. Attorney Larry Greer says, "he would hide and conceal that he was drinking."
McBeth has seven kids and can no longer work. He just wants someone held responsible for their actions.
"Somebody's gotta learn something, cause I'm a survivor," McBeth said.
When we did some digging into the record of El Portal disco on Lawndale, we found they were busted for serving minors alcohol in the past. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has substantiated three instances where minors have been served alcohol inside El Portal -- once in 2009 and twice in 2003. TABC issued the establishment a warning and fines were assessed twice.
local, kevin quinn
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