‘Banished’ Tanti was at bar Kee worked stabbing night: manager

Club owner thinks Aidan Kee and Nick Tanti were ‘friends’ before fatal altercation

Nick Tanti has been banned from a Guelph nightclub where Aidan Kee worked after being involved in a violent altercation nearly two months before his death.

However, despite the ban, Tanti was spotted at Onyx Nightclub twice.

This includes the night of February 29, 2020, less than an hour before he was stabbed outside a downtown Guelph pool hall. Samantha Gilbert, who was a director at Onyx at the start of 2020, appeared on the stand in the trial of brothers Aidan and Angus Kee on Wednesday afternoon in Superior Court.

Surveillance videos were released inside and outside the club, not only from February 29, but on the night of January 11.

“There’s a bar next to Onyx, called NV Lounge,” Gilbert said. “And a fight broke out in front of or inside NV, I don’t know which one.”

“It’s a smaller room, and they only have one security that opens the door, so when the fight broke out (on January 11 after 2 a.m.), some of our security is went to help. Then the fight escalated badly, and there were several weapons that were drawn.

“Certainly at one point all the security in the building was either trying to hold our customers inside or the people fighting outside.

“One of the people involved in this fight, we were able to identify him, is Nick Tanti.”

Video from a camera above Onyx’s entrance showed the person she later identified as Tanti throwing punches during the altercation.

It also showed someone Gilbert confirmed to be Aidan Kee, who worked for Onyx. He could be seen providing first aid, trying to sort things out, and pulling Tanti away from the scene.

Gilbert went on to say that she did research to identify the “seven or eight people” involved in the fight, using both video and social media, and ban them from Onyx in the future.

“Since we know there were at least two weapons in this fight that took place outside, and we had no way of knowing which of the individuals brought it with them,” he said. she stated. “We just felt for the safety of our staff and other customers, we just wouldn’t allow any of them back.”

Aidan, Gilbert added, was asked to confirm if the person in the video was Tanti, which he did.

But Gilbert also confirmed that Aidan feared upsetting anyone for identifying those involved, including Tanti, who she said was her friend.

Fast forward to early or mid-February, when Gilbert said Tanti made an appearance at Onyx for the first time since the Jan. 11 incident.

Gilbert told the court that Aidan had gone to his office to tell her that Tanti was in the club, but, she added “because they were friends”, Aidan “would rather not get involved (in telling Tanti he was banned and had to go) so if I could get another security guard to handle it he would appreciate it.”

Gilbert said Tanti left that night without incident – ‘from what I understand everything went pretty well,’ she said – but returned just after 1 a.m. 29 February.

At the time, she said Aidan had been fired from work about an hour before and had been drinking with friends and his brother, Angus.

The video showed Tanti, wearing the same hockey jersey brought onto the field earlier in the day, heading to the dance floor with a drink bought moments before at the bar.

Moments later, Gilbert said Aidan entered his office to inform him of Tanti’s presence, and that two workers were then tasked with removing Tanti from the property.

Just like the first time, she said Tanti was able to finish her drink before she left. He left at 1:10 a.m.

Gilbert confirmed when questioned by defense attorney James Milgin that, although Tanti left without violence, she was informed that he had threatened the worker at the door.

Aidan also came over to his two co-workers and Tanti while this was all going on, and Gilbert said she brought Aidan into her office to talk to him. He had no right to be involved because he was not working.

“I believe my exact words for him were ‘you know better,'” she said, noting that Aidan apologized in response.

Angus was with the club at the time, she said, but was not involved in the situation.

She said Aidan and Angus left Onyx at 1:41 a.m.

Less than 10 minutes later, the two were captured on video less than a block outside Tony’s Billiards on Macdonell Street, where the fatal incident took place.

Aidan, the older brother, faces a charge of second degree murder, while Angus is charged with manslaughter by unlawful act and accessory to manslaughter after the fact.

The trial continues Thursday morning.

About James K. Bonnette

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