Model sues Astoria nightclub, claiming bouncers punched her

By Bill Parry

A Flushing model is suing a trendy Astoria nightclub and two of its bouncers after one of them allegedly struck her during a March 23 melee outside of Don Coqui at 28-18 31st St. in Astoria. Marilyn Reyes, 21, says her career is threatened after she needed five stitches to close what the police called a laceration over her right eye. Reyes’ attorney said they are asking for an unspecified amount in the civil suit filed in Queens Supreme Court but would settle out of court for $1 million.

The trouble began when one of Reyes’ cousins and his friend were ejected from the club around 3 a.m. during a birthday party with family and friends. When Reyes and her boyfriend found police putting her cousin in a squad car, they started filming the scene with their cell phones, according to Reyes’ lawyer, Lowell Sidney. One of the bouncers grabbed her cell phone and threw it on the ground while another allegedly punched Reyes, the lawyer said.

“The cell phone was still recording and you can hear her mother let out a blood-curdling scream when she saw a 280-pound goon slug her daughter,” Sidney said.

Police say Ruben Troche, 53, of the Bronx was charged with assault and Matthew Reid, 46, of Harlem was charged with criminal mischief.

Sidney said his client is 5-foot-6 and about 120 pounds.

“She only had two drinks in two hours, she was not intoxicated and doesn’t know why she was punched,” he said.

Reyes has a union job as an apprentice electrician and did runway modeling and appearances on Univision as part of her part-time career,

Don Coqui co-owner John Mangan did not return several phone calls, but he told the New York Post that he has surveillance video that tells a different story. He claimed that Reyes tried to attack a bouncer with a shoe and another bouncer shoved her, causing her to fall and cut her head.

“He’s lying,” Sidney said. “If he has those video tapes why doesn’t he show them publicly?”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.