Dierks Bentley Bar Security Involved in Death were Unlicensed

Four of the six security guards at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville charged in the death of 22-year-old Dallas Jordan “DJ” Barret were not properly licensed to work as security guards in the State of Tennessee. Two did have the proper licenses, and the other four did work to obtain the proper licenses after the incident. The establishment had also be cited and fined previously for employing unlicensed security.

The August 16th, 2021 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, with Barret complaining he couldn’t breathe. 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 Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

On November 5th, the autopsy report concluded that Dallas Barret’s cause of death was “asphyxiation” and the manner of death was “homicide.” Dylan Larocca, Tarrell Gray, John Eustace, Jaelen Maxwell, Mallet Meneese and Mark Watkins were all charged with reckless homicide and aggravated assault in December by a Grand Jury.

According to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, on the night of Jordan Barrett’s death, Gray, Eustace, Maxwell and Watkins did not have the proper state licenses to work as security guards. Dylan Larocca did have a license, but it has been suspended until the conclusion of the case. Mallet Meneese’s license is up for suspension at a January 19th hearing. Tarrell Gray’s application for a license was initially granted after the incident, but was suspended once his involvement in the incident was revealed.

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, and the business’s proprietary security company—Private Protective Services—was also cited in 2018 for employing unlicensed security guards, and was forced to pay a $250 fine. Because of the continued issue of employing unlicensed security guards, the Department of Commence and Insurance has now suspended the license for the security firm, meaning that the restaurant and bar will now have to work with an outside firm to provide security on the premises. The business has also been fined $9,000.

Attorney Jon Slager representing the mother of Jordan “DJ” Barret said in a statement, “It is difficult to fathom that Dierks Bentley and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Nashville cared so little for the safety of their patrons that four of the six security guards who murdered Tammy Barret’s son were not even properly licensed. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row LLC is a practiced bad actor, and the above information strongly buttresses this conclusion. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row certainly contributed to the death of Dallas Jordan Barret on August 16, 2021.”

A statement from Whiskey Row reads, “The safety and security of our guests and employees is our top priority. Due to privacy issues, we will not address individual personnel matters and we will not comment at this time on ongoing administrative proceedings.”

Dierks Bentley has yet to publicly address the matter.

All six men charged in the incident are currently out on $25,000 bond. No trial date is set at the moment.

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