Check out Chris Shott’s Observer article on last weekend’s confrontation between hotel layabout David Elder, recently promoted (or was he?) to a position of somewhat greater power, and hotel resident and pro-Stanley Bard activist Arthur Nash. Amid the hilarious recounting of Elder being chased by his doppelganger, having an unspecified (hopefully noxious) liquid dumped on his head, and drinking a Shirley Temple, Shott correctly points out that Nash never physically accosted or threatened the novice hotelier. He just gave him a piece of his mind.
But Shott doesn’t detail the later confrontation that erupted between Nash and one of the gigantic goons Elder hired in response to Nash’s criticism. According to Nash, what happened on Monday night was that after he retrieved his mail from behind the front desk, he was barred from entering the elevator and menaced by the approximately 6’5”, 275 lb. security guard (who had apparently been instructed to deal harshly with Nash). After returning to his room to get his camera—he had been instructed by his lawyer to document all confrontations—Nash attempted to take the guard’s picture. In response, the guard tried to wrench the camera away from Nash and then grabbed him in a bear hug and body slammed him against the front desk, smashing the camera (and Nash’s hand) against the counter repeatedly until the batteries flew out. The guard continued to wrestle with Nash as Nash tried to use the house phone to call the police. A resident who had witnessed the altercation, and who corroborated Nash’s story, said that in all his or her time at the Chelsea, he or she had never seen anything so frightening. Nash eventually did manage to call the police, but they decided they didn’t have sufficient cause to arrest the guard. (The photo of one of Nash’s injuries speaks volumes.)
The day before, Sunday, two other goons—with Elder standing behind them--had hassled Nash as well, chest butting him and trying to force him into the back stairwell off the lobby where there are no security cameras, and of course, no witnesses. And then, on Tuesday afternoon, two goons were caught milling around outside Nash’s apartment, in an apparent attempt to intimidate Nash and his girlfriend. (I don’t even know where the hell we’re living anymore—some kind of alternate, Bizarro Chelsea.)
One mistake in the article: Piri Thomas is not Elder’s father-in-law. This would imply that someone, presumably a woman, had actually consented to marry Elder at some point in time, a patent absurdity. Piri married Elder’s mother, making him Elder’s step-father (and I’ll bet he wishes he would have paddled young Elder’s butt a bit more severely while he had the chance!)
[By the way, Arthur’s show in DC is a scaled down version of his much larger traveling show “Infernal Machines, The Evolution of US Capitol Punishment,” and it opens on May 16th, with the grand opening scheduled for May 23rd, at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington D.C.] -- Ed Hamilton