Dedicated fans of two YouTubers who claim that they were physically assaulted at a Cleveland bar have launched a brutal hate campaign against the establishment.
YouTube and Instagram sensation Alissa Violet, 21, and her boyfriend Ricky ‘FaZe’ Banks, 26, went to Ohio for Thanksgiving and during the weekend spent a night out at Cleveland’s Barley House.
There, Alissa says she was attacked and emerged with a black eye and a battered lip after an incident in the night between Saturday and Sunday.
Incident: YouTube star Alissa Violet says she emerged with a battered lip and a black eye (pictured) after being attacked at a Cleveland, Ohio bar over the weekend
Traveling: Alissa and her fellow social media star and boyfriend Ricky ‘FaZe’ Banks (pictured with her), 26, were in Cleveland for Thanksgiving when the incident unfolded
Both she and Ricky posted about it on social media, with Ricky asking his 1.89 million Twitter followers to go on his Snapchat for the latest details.
Alissa has a whopping 7.3 million followers on Instagram, while Ricky’s account has 2.2 million. The pair is equally popular on YouTube, where Alissa has 2.9 million subscribers and Ricky has 3.9 million.
Among their posts related to the bar incident were photos of Alissa with a bruised lip and a swollen, bruised eye, as well as images of Ricky’s hand, which he said he broke while hitting ‘this pussies face [sic]’.
While it is unclear exactly what transpired at Barley House, footage of the evening shows Ricky yelling accusations while at the bar, saying someone tried to choke him and someone else tried to grab Alissa’s ‘a**’. Alissa can also be heard threatening to sue the establishment.
Speaking out: Both Alissa and Ricky posted about it on social media, with Ricky asking his 1.89 million Twitter followers to go on his Snapchat for the latest details
Audience: Alissa has a whopping 7.3 million followers on Instagram , while Ricky’s account has 2.2 million. The pair is equally popular on YouTube
On social media, Ricky accused ‘some dude’ whom he said works at the bar, as well as two women, of hitting Alissa.
The YouTuber shared photos of the people he accused on his Snapchat account, asking his followers to help him track them down.
While both Alissa and Ricky have blasted the bar for its handling of the situation, the establishment replied with a scathing statement placing the blame on the two social media stars.
‘We have done an internal investigation and have come to the conclusion that our employees did an exceptional job handling the situation that was instigated on three separate occasions throughout the night by Ricky Banks and Alissa Violet,’ the establishment wrote.
‘We have also come to the conclusion that Ricky and Alissa are instigators, liars, and manipulators. They are trying to use their social media influence to not only destroy our business, but to encourage people to harm our employees physically and emotionally.
‘Shame on those of you that have just taken these two intoxicated people’s words to the point of threatening innocent people’s lives before we could even do our proper due diligence to assure no one on our team did anything wrong. If we or someone on our team did do something wrong, believe us, the situation would have been handled properly that way as well, but that was not the case.
‘This is not only evident in the video footage and witness statements, but in some audio that was recorded in which you can hear Ricky and Alissa yelling ‘Do you know who we are?? We can ruin you!’, over and over…
‘We felt obligated as local owners to stand up to these lies against our establishment and our employees with the hope that we shed light on what kind of people Alissa and Ricky actually are.’
Campaign: After Ricky and Alissa aired accusations against the Barley House bar in Cleveland, his and Alissa’s fans flooded the establishment’s Yelp page with false reviews
Taking action: One person even started an online campaign asking for Barley House to be closed. The petition, which has so far only received one signature, is meant to be delivered to none other than Ohio Governor (and former presidential candidate) John Kasich
However, the statement did little to appease the anger of Ricky and Alissa’s fans, who have been hard at work to retaliate against the bar.
They have left dozens of false reviews on Yelp, giving Barley House the lowest possible rating of one star, and making it clear in their accompanying statement that their review comes as a result of the quarrel.
‘Zero stars. Their employees assault customers and THEN go on social media to try and defend themselves for their unprofessional and criminal behavior,’ one person wrote. ‘Don’t waste your money or risk getting your face beat here.’
‘Terrible service being put out there, the bouncer was extremely rude to my friends, Ricky and Alissa and also did not have the politeness to welcome us into the bar,’ another review reads. ‘The people working in there, including the bartender were very rude as well. This place needs better staff and respect #cloutgang.’
‘Cloutgang’ is the word used to designate Alissa, Ricky and another of their social media colleagues.
Insults: Meanwhile, plenty of Alissa and Ricky’s supporters have left outraged messages on Twitter railing against the bar, calling its staff members ‘f*****g disgusting human beings’
Response: While Alissa and Ricky blasted the bar for its handling of the situation, the establishment replied with a statement placing the blame on the two social media stars
Words: In their efforts to find the people accused by Ricky, some fans mistakenly came to believe a man named Steve Donaldson Jr. was responsible for the incident. The reactions were such that Donaldson Jr. put out a statement saying he wasn’t at the bar on Saturday night
The flood of reviews has been such that Yelp has now taken to cleaning up the bar’s page to remove some of the abusive posts, though many remain accessible on the platform.
Meanwhile, plenty of Alissa and Ricky’s supporters have left outraged messages on Twitter railing against the bar, calling its staff members ‘f*****g disgusting human beings’, suggesting that someone buy the venue and ‘fire everyone’, or exclaiming some variation of ‘f**k Barley House’.
One person even started an online campaign asking for Barley House to be closed. The petition, which has so far only received one signature, is meant to be delivered to none other than Ohio Governor (and former presidential candidate) John Kasich.
However, the fans’ campaign has gone beyond online posts.
In their efforts to get justice for their idols, some fans mistakenly came to believe a man named Steve Donaldson Jr. was responsible for the incident.
‘Our family woke up to all these hate messages and follower requests,’ his sister Courtney told the Daily Beast. ‘Her [Violet’s] fans looked up old addresses of ours, saying we should watch our back.’
The reactions were such that Donaldson Jr. put out a statement on Google Docs saying that, while he is a regular at Barley House, he wasn’t at the bar on Saturday night and went to bed at 8:30 pm because he was exhausted after working on his condo, which is being renovated, and visiting his sick grandfather in the hospital.
‘I would appreciate if the threats and influx of social media friend and follow requests would cease,’ Donaldson Jr. added.
In addition, one person posted on Twitter about driving to Cleveland in person to ‘beat a**’, but later claimed they couldn’t because they had to be at work.
Alissa, meanwhile, has thanked Ricky on Twitter, calling him her ‘angel’.
But a local resident told the Daily Beast she is looking forward to security footage being released, adding: ‘It’s going to embarrass the hell out of those two.’