Stone Lounge nightclub manager Joe Hage claims he threatened to kill a citizen recording him because the man had mocked him as he was being attacked by a club patron.
But one doesn’t even have to personally know Hage to realize he has close ties to Cortland police who didn’t bother arresting him for making the threat, a fact that was confirmed by numerous emails to Photography is Not a Crime from people who know him.
Like so many police officers have done in the past, Hage claims that everything that took place on the video is irrelevant because the real crime (or motive for his threat) was committed before the camera was running.
Hage told the local media that as he was being attacked by the patron, who shoved him, then threw a trash can lid at him, he couldn’t help but notice a man standing nearby watching, making comments – and not recording.
Hage claimed that it was only until after the police had arrived and began tasing the man that Blake Dudek then pulled out his phone to start recording, which angered him, prompting him to yell, “put the camera down, get the fuck out of here, I’ll fucking kill you.”
Hage claims it was a natural reaction to Dudek not pulling out his phone earlier than he actually did.
Dudek, who didn’t give a statement to the local news station that is obviously blind to what really took place, sent the following statement to PINAC:
“Joe Hage claims I instigated him. He knows this is a lie. I start my video well before anyone was aware of my presence. You can hear everything I did say very clearly, and I never said anything to initiate a confrontation.”
The video shows that Dudek was recording for 20 seconds before Hage began yelling at him. It also shows that Dudek maintained a very calm demeanor, unlike Hage, who had to be restrained by a club bouncer as police questioned Dudek as to why he was recording.
It also shows that Dudek wasn’t even near the altercation in order for Hage to notice him in the first place as he was dodging flying trashcan lids.
But the local media took the typical “he said, she said” approach to the story rather than ask the most obvious question.
Why didn’t police arrest Hage for making threats when they were standing right there?
Instead, YNN quoted police referring to Hage as a “gentleman.”
“People were upset because a gentleman went over and started yelling at the party videotaping what the police were doing, wrestling, and fighting with this guy,” Troyer explained. “There were some words exchanged. After the guy was placed under control the officers went over there and diffused the situation without any problems.
The dramatic video has since gone viral, attracting tens of thousands of hits.
But one man says what you see in the video isn’t the whole picture.
“It’s like opening a book and reading a chapter out of the middle and thinking you know the entire plot,” said Stone Lounge Manager Joseph Hage, who says his family and friends have been harassed since the video went online.
Hage is the one seen yelling in the video. He says he was the one attacked by the man being arrested.
“He shoved me backwards into my staff,” Hage said. “He ripped off the lid to a garbage can out front. He struck me in the arm and the side of the face. As I fell back he stepped back and threw the lid like a Frisbee.”
On the sidelines during the assault, Hage claims, was Dudek.
“He was making remarks,” Hage said. “‘You’ve got to hide behind your goons. Why don’t you just do something about it?’ Laughing, giggling; instigating, basically.”
Hage says that’s why he was so angry in the video.
But judging by some of the emails I received about Hage, a couple which I posted below, he is anything but a gentlemen:
That IS infact Joe hage. He has one of the worse reputations around here. From making his bar maids sleep with him, to drugs with the police. (all rumors of course) but when you see the on duty police rolling around in his Mercedes with him you get the picture. Its also been said most of the police are on his payroll. And those cameras were meant to protect us. Bullshit. They don’t want us to look up to them (police) they want us to fear them. They’re all corrupt. Get away with everything. From dwis, totaling cars, fences, and KILLING people. Cortland is like a scene from the movie casino. Its scary. Oh and in the video there are FIVE cops attacking that young man.
Okay a few minor details left out. Joe Hage is a KNOWN predator here in Cortland, feasting on young college prey. The stone lounge has more allegations of bouncers drugging girls than I can count. As far as police go, they have been corrupt for years. Officers Pym and O’Donnell are 2 city officers with so many allegations of harrassment, bogus pull overs, and the list goes on. Not to mention O’Donnell was just arrested for a d dub after hitting a parked car a few months back. This town is so small, that yes Cortland police is corrupt. very!