Candace Rondeaux of the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the wife of the man that was fatally stabbed during a CORROSION OF CONFORMITY concert at Ybor City, Florida's Masquerade club in late June has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging the club's owners were "negligent" when they allowed Michael Pyne (photo), the man charged with murdering Thomas Laskas (photo, with wife Wendy), into the club with a knife.
"There are clear indications that security wasn't what it should have been and that this incident could have been prevented," said Laskas' attorney, Rob K. Roy.
Things started off inauspiciously for the couple soon after they arrived at the Seventh Avenue club on June 23 for a CORROSION OF CONFORMITY concert. The trouble started when Wendy Laskas and a girlfriend accidentally knocked down Pyne, 39, near the mosh pit.
About 20 minutes later, near 11:30 p.m., a woman who was with Pyne picked a fight with Wendy Laskas' friend. When she came to the friend's defense, Wendy Laskas was knocked to the ground. Thomas Laskas, 29, tried to break up the scuffle, but Pyne began beating and stabbing him, witnesses said.
Wendy Laskas and two others were also injured. Her husband died the next day at Tampa General Hospital.
Roy said none of the bar's staff intervened, and the band continued playing in the darkened club while Thomas Laskas lay bleeding. Roy said the lawsuit is not an indictment of Ybor City's party atmosphere; rather, it points to a need for more caution on the part of Ybor City club owners.
"There are indications that this gentleman (Pyne) and the folks that were with him were known to the people that operate Masquerade," Roy said.
Pyne, a Dunedin tattoo shop worker, was arrested at his sister's Orlando home three days after the stabbing. It wasn't the first time Pyne had been in trouble with the law.
He served 13 months on drug charges and for being a felon with a concealed weapon and ammunition. He served time in 1995 for battery on a law enforcement officer. In 1992, he was sentenced to prison in another state for burglary and aggravated battery with intended harm.
On July 12, Pyne pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm.
Read more at SPTimes.com.