PROVINCETOWN — Admittance at the Crown & Anchor’s May 30 evening show was by ticket or by reservation only, North Truro’s Keith Davis, an assistant manager who was working the door that night, had tried to explain. But when a group of ticket-holding white women got into the Crown just before 7 p.m. that Sunday, the reaction of another group — all Black women — led to an altercation that left Davis “shaken,” every active unit of the Provincetown Police Dept. mobilized, and two women facing felony assault and civil rights charges in Orleans District Court.
The Provincetown police dispatcher sent the entire patrol force to the Crown & Anchor on Commercial Street at 7:05 Sunday to handle a fight in progress, wrote Patrol Officer Shannon Beloin in her report. She arrived on the scene to find “at least five to six female parties walking angrily (as they were screaming and clenching their fists)” towards her cruiser. Unanimously noncompliant with Beloin’s orders, the women meandered until a tag-team of officers stopped them outside Commercial Street’s Waydowntown restaurant.
Meanwhile, Rick Murray, the Crown & Anchor’s owner, took Beloin to Davis, 60, the victim of the assault.
Letting the white women in, Davis said, had “provoked” the Black women, who had been trying to talk their way inside. Davis, who is gay and Black, said the women began to scream at him, saying that he was “a racist for not allowing them inside.”
One woman, later identified as Genea Mitchell, 29, of Oakland, Calif., shoved him. Another, Bryn Vanalstyne, 37, also of Oakland, dug her fingernail into his thumb. Davis said he’d call the police, and Vanalstyne “ripped his phone out of his hands,” Davis told the police, and then stomped on it. The rest of the women began to box Davis in, he said. And Mitchell and Vanalstyne called him a couplet of racist and homophobic slurs.
Four eyewitnesses confirmed Davis’s account to the police. Two had videotaped the encounter; they gave the footage to Police Sgt. Glenn Enos, who submitted it as supporting evidence.
Davis agreed to participate in a “show-up” to identify his assailants. He said Mitchell was the woman who’d pushed him, and Vanalstyne was the one who’d thrown his phone to the ground. Asked by Beloin how certain he was, Davis said he was “absolutely positive.”
Police handcuffed and booked both women. Judge Robert Welsh III arraigned them separately on June 1. Mitchell is charged with a civil rights violation and assault and battery on someone over 60 or disabled, a felony. Vanalstyne is charged with intimidating a witness, juror, police, or court official; a civil rights violation; and assault and battery on someone over 60 or disabled. Both women posted $500 cash bail to be released with the potential of bail revocation. They’ll next appear in court on July 20 for pretrial hearings.
Correction: Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article identified Keith Davis as the Crown & Anchor’s “bouncer.” He is an assistant manager at the club.