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Monday, March 20, 2006

Hanging out with Darryl Littlejohn

updated: March 21, 2006

Imette St. Guillen The Falls bar Darryl Littlejohn

Chris Faherty is an Irish bartender who works at The Falls Bar. Chris was working the night that Imette St. Guillen, the 24-year old graduate student, was last seen alive at The Falls. Chris wrote a story for New York Magazine describing what it was like working with Darryl Littlejohn the ex-con bouncer and suspected murderer of Imette St. Guillen.

I met Darryl Littlejohn three months ago, when he was hired as a doorman. But I didn’t know him by that name; I knew him only as “B.” I was outside grabbing a quick smoke, sparking up some conversation with Kwan, our regular bouncer, who introduced us. I asked the obvious question: What does B stand for?

“Brother,” Kwan replied, smiling. “He’s my brother.” Kwan was six-four and built; B was five-seven but broad-shouldered, with a back that engulfed his body like a turtle’s shell. He wore clear-lensed wraparound glasses and military garb, which added to his intimidating presence. Obviously not related by blood, they claimed to be partners: federal marshals who hunted fugitives by day and moonlighted together at night. The two of them would stroll into work sporting what we all thought were their clothes from the day job: fatigues tucked into combat boots, bulletproof vests, handcuffs dangling from their belts, and U.S. marshal caps and T-shirts. They even had shiny gold badges.

When it was slow, I would hang out with Kwan and B while they checked I.D.’s. Kwan, unlike his quiet partner, had the gift of gab. He would wax poetic about their exploits. Prisoner transports were probably my favorites, but I also enjoyed the occasional house-raid story. There was a great one involving guns ablaze at a bust in the Midwest.

I was the fun Irish bartender who made them laugh with my corny jokes and wet their whistles at the end of the night with snifters of Hennessy. If anyone ever bothered me, B and Kwan were my protection. And I wasn’t the only one who bought their act. Tim, the other bouncer, hated to work with cops; and the manager, Danny Dorrian, truly believed that since B and Kwan were the law, their presence made the Falls a safer place...

I was conned, we all were, by Kwan—who never came back from his vacation—and his "brother," Darryl Littlejohn."

UPDATE:
So with this story from Chris Faherty the identities of four of the five people who were last with Imette St. Guillen at The Falls bar on Saturday, Feb. 25th are now known:
  • Darryl Littlejohn - ex-con bouncer and so-to-be indicted murder suspect

  • "Little" Danny "boy" Dorrian - co-owner & weasel-in-charge

  • Tim Catella - ex-con tough guy bouncer

  • Chris Faherty - clueless Irish bartender

  • Still Unknown - 2nd bartender

  • This is based on the most accurate and detailed account of events at The Falls bar so far, as detailed by the Boston Herald:
    Following is what witnesses told police happened to St. Guillen after closing time at The Falls, official sources tell the Herald:

    At 4:05 a.m., Falls co-owner and bar manager Dan Dorrian, two of his bartenders and two bouncers were at the bar. St. Guillen, nursing a rum and Coke, was the only customer left. Dorrian asked her to finish her drink and leave. When she lingered he tried to take the drink away. She became argumentative, and Dorrian asked bouncer Darryl Littlejohn of Queens to escort her from the premises.

    Littlejohn and the other bouncer took her outside. The two bartenders left in a cab headed uptown. The other bouncer took a cab to the Staten Island ferry. Littlejohn was still outside the bar with St. Guillen, the other bouncer said. Dorrian told police that shortly afterward, from inside the bar, he heard what he believes to have been an “argument” and perhaps a commotion between Littlejohn, 41, and St. Guillen, 24.
    So only the identity of the second bartender who left with Chris Faherty is not known. Faherty did say police interviewed him with "Tim and Andy," so perhaps one of them is the 2nd bartender.

    It will be interesting to see if the bouncer known as Kwan turns up again in this investigation. Faherty said Kwan referred to Littlejohn has his "brother." The fact Kwan did not show up back at his job at the Falls suggests he had something to hide.

    Everyone involved in this case is just waiting for the grand jury indictment to come down. Some reports were saying it would happen today (now Tuesday).

    Indictment Could Come Today For Darryl Littlejohn [NY1.com, Mar. 21, 2006]

    Some more coverage of the weaselly and politically well connected Dorrian clan courtesy The Village Voice:
    "The Dorrian family hired a career criminal for a bouncer. Why?" demanded one of the neon-green signs demonstrators waved for the cameras. Another took a shot at Michael Dorrian's younger brother, who was managing the bar the night St. Guillen was killed.

    "Daniel Dorrian, why did you lie to police? What are you hiding?" the sign demanded. According to news reports, Daniel first told police he hadn't seen St. Guillen that night, then claimed she'd left the bar alone. Police sources quoted in the press said Daniel waited nearly a week before telling detectives he'd ordered Littlejohn to escort St. Guillen out the bar's side entrance just after closing time. He reportedly heard arguing outside, then a muffled scream.

    "Anyone who would stonewall police has a lot to answer to and certainly does not deserve a liquor license," Sean Sweeney of the Soho Alliance told the news crews, before launching into a tirade about the proliferation of rowdy and irresponsible bars in his district.

    Inside the Falls, about 20 regulars and family faithful did their best to ignore the fracas, tipping back pints and watching basketball on the widescreen TV as generic '80s rock thumped from the speakers. Michael Dorrian huddled at the end of the long wooden bar with a group of male friends who were joking with him and slapping him on the back, as if keeping their chins up could dispel the ignominy of this crime and the mounting demands to shutter the bar.

    "I can't say anything about anything," Michael responded with an exasperated shrug, his face flushed, when asked about the public crucifixion of his family's bar dynasty.
    Flunking a Bar Exam [Village Voice, Mar. 21, 2006]

    Regarding Imette's Law:
    The backlash against this gruesome crime has prompted calls for an "Imette's Law" requiring bars to install video cameras, along with a City Council bill to allow cops to moonlight as bouncers again. A separate online campaign, imettelaws.com, seeks mandatory licensing and background checks for New York bouncers.

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