The Family of a Male Stripper Gunned Down Outside Cabaret Royale Is Suing Over His Death

Categories: Legal Battles

RubenRiguero.jpg
Via.
Ruben Riguero
Ruben Riguero's friends and family have never gotten the justice they felt they deserve. Riguero, a 29-year-old Venezuelan father, bodybuilder, fitness instructor and stripper at LaBare, was gunned down in September 2012 after a fight at The Fare Room, Cabaret Royale's after-hours club. His killer, identified by police as Branagan Hopkins, confessed to pulling the trigger but was cleared of murder charges by a Dallas County grand jury. According to a police spokesman, the evidence pointed to self-defense.

Family and friends have continued to press their case, taking it first to the court of public opinion. A blog set up by a friend who says he was with Riguero, declares a "great injustice," detailing the shooting in detail and quoting the D.A.'s office response as "unfortunately when a drug dealer kills a stripper no one cares," which doesn't sound like something anyone from the D.A.'s office actually said but at least captures some of the writer's anger.

Now, their PR effort having yielded no measurable result, they are taking their case back to actual court. On Monday, his family filed a lawsuit in Dallas County district court, not against Riguero's alleged killer but against Millennium Restaurants Group, the company that runs Cabaret Royale and The Fare Room.

According to the suit, filed jointly by Riguero's mother, who lives in Venezuela, and the mother of Riguero's two children young son, who lives in Kansas, the strip club failed in its responsibility to keep its patrons safe.

The suit opens with a brief summary of the events of September 30, 2012. In the early morning hours, Riguero and his friends were at The Fare Room. They began fighting with at least two other customers, one of whom was Hopkins. Club employees intervened and repeatedly punched and kicked Hopkins before kicking him out.

But, the suit says, "Hopkins did not leave. Instead, he waited inside his car, which was parked in the overflow lot."

When Riguero and his group were asked to leave a short time later, the fight picked back up in the parking lot, at which point Hopkins pulled out a gun and shot Riguero.

So, what part of the incident makes The Fare Room or Cabaret Royale responsible? Riguero's family makes their case thusly:

Defendants did not have adequate security for the premises. Further, Defendants negligently failed to take the necessary and appropriate measures to address the altercation between Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Riguero's group. Defendants further provoked the situation by assaulting Mr. Riguero [Editor's note: We think they mean Hopkins].

Thus, the suit says, the club was directly responsible for leaving Riguero's children son without a father and his mother without a son. They are asking the court for unspecified damages.

Also, here's a YouTube tribute to Riguero's life, which features pulsing dance music and plenty of gratuitous closeups of his shirtless bod.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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32 comments
dmhastings36
dmhastings36

he was a human being, that being said why does it matter what his occupation was?  he was still gunned down after a fight he didn't start and he wasn't armed.  sympathy to the family and may he rest in peace. 


roo_ster
roo_ster

Back when I was a callow youth, I also lifted weights a whole lot and went to strip clubs upon occasion.  Never managed to get into a fight in one, though. 


Not sure how the club can be responsible for dude's death, though.

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

One more reason not to trust the results of a grand jury - the prosecutor can steer the grand jury in any direction he wants, it is a one-sided affair, very different than an actual trial. 


From the info provided, it is difficult to understand how the shooting could possibly have been ruled self-defense since the shooter essentially laid in wait for Riguero to exit the nightclub. However, it did take place in Texas where it is considered legal to shoot a fleeing person in the back and call it self-defense.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Since LaBare's didn't call the police, the stripper's family has a good case here.


AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

"The Family of a Male Stripper Gunned Down Outside Cabaret Royale Is Suing Over His Death"

Bad headline.  The family was gunned down?

Rooster0620
Rooster0620

So two idiots get into a fight in a strip club. Then they get into another fight outside, and one of the idiots kills the other.

And somehow it was the strip club's fault for not protecting these two idiots from themselves.

The world was a much better place before lawyers figured out they could make mad bank by convincing us all we're victims.

dare2bmee
dare2bmee

He wasn't 29 he was actually 27 and he only has one son, not children. Obviously there was not any research done prior to posting this blog.

Most importantly he was a decent, friendly and nice guy those of us who knew him are tired of him being judged as a "stripper".

This article borders on the tacky.

laci_millson
laci_millson

I feel like they are mocking him and his death due to the fact he is a stripper. You guys are not taking this situation seriously. Bad move, Dallas Observer. This is terrible journalism.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

FTFA: "unfortunately when a drug dealer kills a stripper no one cares,"

In a nutshell.

observist
observist topcommenter

"and stripper at LaBare's killer, was gunned down"

Either there's a club called La Bare's Killer or the 's killer should be removed.

katlo619
katlo619

@Rooster0620 First, you need to stop calling him a idiot. Ruben was a kind-hearted man that was trying to break up the fight. He was not fighting. The man that was fighting looks like him so when the shooter saw him, he shot the wrong person. Ruben helped people and treated everyone with respect. He did not deserve being shot.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Rooster0620

That's the Libertarian position - but the legal position is that businesses have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect their employees and customers.


bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@dare2bmee

It's kind of funny to see someone who got in so many fights - at least one of which included a fatality - referred to as "friendly".


Johnny Bananas
Johnny Bananas

@dare2bmee heres a good rule of thumb: If you dont want to judged as as a stripper, dont become a stripper!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@dare2bmee was he a stripper, if so then calling him a stripper is not offensive.  

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@laci_millson

Journalism is about reporting facts - not about sparing the feelings of people who are determined to see themselves as victims.


TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@laci_millson 

I don't see any mocking in this blog.

If he were a brain surgeon that got into a fight with another patron in a strip club parking lot, would you be offended that they identified him as such?

Rooster0620
Rooster0620

I'm very aware of the "legal" position, which is why I said the world was a much better place before lawyers determined they could make mad bank by convincing us all we're victims.

This was not a case where a guy died because a place of business didn't provide a "safe" environment. This was a case where a guy died because two idiots made bad decisions and decided to fight in a strip club.

Sometimes bad things happen to you and it's nobody else's fault. Sometimes bad things happen to you because of the stupid decisions you make.

CleetusR
CleetusR

But he love's the sssssssssssssssssssssssausage!

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Rooster0620 Sure, to you it was nothing more than two idiots.
But in American law, business have a responsibility to keep their patrons safe.

That's one of the reasons that Libertarian Republicans hate the government so much - because it requires them to run their businesses responsibly.

Rooster0620
Rooster0620

Might want to bone up on your reading comprehension there, Cupcake. He wasn't an employee. Cabernet Royale doesn't hire male strippers. He worked at another club.

I never said the gunman wasn't responsible. I said the club wasn't.

This was nothing more than two testosterone fueled idiots deciding to fight in a strip club and reaping the consequences of their actions.

I don't understand why that is so difficult to grasp.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Rooster0620

So, by your standards, it was a safe environment, even though an employee was gunned down in cold blood, eh?  And too, that it was the victim's fault and "nobody else's"... not even the guy who pulled the trigger.


That sure is some twisted logic you have there - and a common flaw in the gun-violence advocate community's perspective.

Johnny Bananas
Johnny Bananas

@dare2bmee @Johnny Bananas news flash dude, im free to judge anyone I want and vice versa. its human nature, people formulate thoughts and opinions based on whats presented to them and/or past experiences

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@dare2bmee@Johnny Bananas

Only Christians have a cultural prohibition against judging folks  - the rest of us are free to use our own judgment in all matters.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@dare2bmee @ScottsMerkin 

. . . ummmm . . . "no he's being judged because he was a stripper, big difference."

YOU yourself just identified him as a stripper.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@dare2bmee@CleetusR

It's a story about strippers and murder.  So we were looking at vulgar in the rear view mirror from the git-go.

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