Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison is defending his “Pawn Stars” staff after a lawsuit by a 62-year-old disabled veteran who claims he was roughed up.
Harrison, 27, said he was speaking out because a number of wild media reports blamed his father, Rick, and his 71-year-old grandfather, Richard, “like they did some kind of tag team on this guy.”
“They were never in the room with him,” he said.
Vietnam vet Daniel Callahan filed a lawsuit last week in District Court in Las Vegas claiming the elder Harrisons failed to provide “reasonable and necessary” security at Gold and Silver Pawn Shop.
Callahan seeks more than $20,000 for injuries he is alleged to have suffered being tossed out after an argument over a rifle he brought.
In the lawsuit, Callahan said he was put in a chokehold, dragged out of the pawn shop and tossed on the sidewalk. So was his rifle and cane, which were damaged, he alleged.
Corey Harrison, who said he didn’t witness the incident, said Callahan became “absolutely irate with a weapon in his hand and 4,000 people waiting.”
“He was screaming ‘I want to see the owner.’ I’m going with my employees because if I were out there, I would have done the exact same thing. The way he was acting it was in our best interests to get him out of there.”
‘VEGAS UNDERGROUND’ TAKES OFF
Monday nights might never be the same at The Tap House, best known since the mid-1980s as a magnet for Cleveland Browns fans, but football is not pulling in people these days.
Standing-room-only crowds have flocked to open-mic night since the fall. Organizers of the Rat Pack-like party say an article in the Los Angeles Times last week was a game-changer.
A.J. Harness, the catalyst behind what he calls “The Vegas Underground,” said he’s received overtures from reality show producers in Los Angeles and Nashville since the article appeared.
“It’s a ‘Pawn Stars’ waiting to happen,” said Harness, who sells Cadillacs by day and sits in on drums some nights.
He’s been beating the drums for live entertainment since moving here three years ago to work for Cadillac of Las Vegas.
“I’ve been with Cadillac for 10 years and a drummer for 50 years,” he said. “It was a shame to see what’s happened here the last three to five years, with so many live venues being closed down. It’s easier to bring in DJs or the Kardashians.”
He teamed up with The Tap House owners Bob Harry and Jim Girard and recruited singer Mark Giovi and Ned Mills, the latter as music director.
“It’s really exploding,” he said, with three waves of crowds showing up to see Las Vegas show business veterans, tribute artists and newcomers.
Monday’s show features Giovi, Domenick Allen, former lead singer of Foreigner, and his wife, former Broadway singer and actress Leigh Zimmerman.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Andre Agassi and wife Steffi Graf were on the red carpet at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. They were with a group hosted by Longine, the luxury watch company with which they have endorsement deals.
At the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto main event Saturday at MGM Grand Garden: Pop sensation Justin Bieber, Mike Tyson and wife Kiki, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Sean “Diddy” Combs, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Pierce Brosnan, Stephen Moyer of “True Blood” and co-star Anna Paquin, Brad Garrett, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, San Francisco 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs and actor Bill Paxton. … NBA great Spencer Haywood, at UNLV basketball coach Dave Rice’s autism benefit at the Palms on Friday. … Hip hopper Flo Rida, tossing $1,000 worth of $1 bills to the girls at Sapphire on Friday. He was with an entourage of 30. … Busta Rhymes, checking out the Friday scene at Tao (The Venetian). … Internet sensation iJustine, dining on the Strip-front terrace at Lavo (Palazzo) and tweeting about the Oreo Zeppole dessert to the 1.4 million who follow her video game site.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Las Vegas offering side bets on whether he’ll make it out of the trailer.” – From David Letterman’s Top Ten Signs Your Horse Will Not Win the Kentucky Derby
Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.