6 Workers Indicted After Death at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

After an August 16th altercation on the rooftop bar of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row property on Lower Broadway in Nashville, 22-year-old Dallas Jordan “DJ” Barret of Smyrna was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Now six employees of the bar, and a non-employee who was also involved in the incident, have all been indicted by a Grand Jury on reckless homicide and aggravated assault charges.

The incident occurred after security guards at Whiskey Row had reportedly told Dallas Barret to leave the premises prior to the altercation, but he refused. Security then reportedly restrained Barret and held him down until officers arrived. Numerous individuals called 911, with police arriving in just over two minutes. They found Barret unresponsive, and began performing CPR. Police were then relieved by Nashville Fire Department personnel who transported Barret to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police preliminary characterized the death as a homicide, but officially called it “unclassified” until an autopsy could be performed. On November 5th, the autopsy report concluded that Dallas Barret’s cause of death was “asphyxiation” and the manner of death was “homicide.”

Surveillance video, personal cell phone video, and eyewitness accounts were collected from the scene as part of the investigation, but even after the autopsy report, charges were still not filed as police and the District Attorney continued the investigation, with the family of Dallas Barret growing frustrated at the lack of a response.

Whiskey Row also filed a complaint with Metro Nashville’s Office of Professional Accountability claiming that the two Metro police officers working on Lower Broadway failed to provide prompt assistance upon notification of the incident, citing that officers waited for the elevator instead of taking the stairs to the roof. The complaint was later ruled “unfounded,” and that officers had acted quickly and professionally.

Officers responded immediately after being notified of the incident at 10:56 p.m. and were inside the bar less than a minute later. A responding officer began chest compressions at 10:59 p.m. after finding Barret unresponsive, and medics arrived within three minutes after. Dallas Barret was transported to the hospital at 11:08 p.m.

The Davidson County Grand Jury has indicted the following men on the incident:

  • Dylan Thomas Larocca, 33, of Mt. Juliet.
  • John D. Eustace, 26, of Hermitage.
  • Mark Ryan Watkins, 24, last known address DeBary, Florida.
  • Mallet Daquan Meneese, 30, of Hermitage.
  • Jaelen Alexander Maxwell, 23, of Murfreesboro.
  • Tarrell K. Gray, 25, of Nashville.
  • Steven John Simon, 44, of Hermitage (non-employee).

Dylan Thomas Larocca and Steven John Simon turned themselves into authorities shortly after the indictments were announced. A Davidson County Criminal Court judge has set bond for each of the defendants at $25,000.

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