Rough Justice at MetaCon

Ryan Kopf

Ryan Kopf

MetaCon owner and AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf reportedly attacked vendor David Silvieus of “PLUSH in the USA” in the dealers room at MetaCon this past weekend reports Trae Dorn of Nerd & Tie.

MetaCon staffers challenged Silvieus about selling bootleg merchandise at his table. There was a vocal exchange and Silvieus was asked to leave the event, which he stated he would do only if police made him.

Police were summoned. While waiting for them to arrive, AnimeCon.org staffers placed chairs in front of Silvieus’s PLUSH in the USA table and sat in them, blocking access to the booth.

Kopf was in one of the chairs. Action ensued, possibly involving Silvieus trying to move Kopf’s chair.

Silvieus alleges that Kopf then stood up and came at him, punching Silvieus five times. Silvieus states that he then tried to defend himself, and found himself tackled by, and I quote, a “400 pound plus guy and other volunteers of the show.”

The report’s author, Trae Dorn, further alleged in a comment:

Cay Combs has admitted to choking Silvieus on his facebook page, which is a whole other legal issue…

He refers to Combs’ statement on Facebook:

I hope it’s a lesson learned if you put your hands on one of my best friends I will choke you out no matter who you are, regardless of location or environment.

Combs responded to Dorn’s story by posting a graphic with the caption “fight me you lil bitch” and the comment:

That face you make when a some scumbag wanna be “journalist blogger” writes an article about you and an incident at con. That misconstrues the entire truth of what really happened…..

Combs then posted his own allegations about the encounter:

To sum it up pretty much a vendor at a con was selling bootleg Nintendo, kingdom hearts and Pokemon materials. As the director of communications I was woken up by the head of dealers to intervene after he had been rude and sexist towards all of the dealers staff and the head of dealers who all happen to be female. After assessing the situation and speaking to him politely. I confirmed he did not have proof of purchase or licensing for said products. So we served him a formal letter of ejection from the event. He refused to Leave and continued to sell the bootleg materials. Which is not only a legal matter but also disrespectful to the other vendors. The hotel asked him to leave and he also refused. Then the owner my best friend put two chairs in front of the booth and set there with the head of ops directing people away until the police could arrive the vendor then decided to grab my best friend throw him out of the chair and punch him in the back of the head. My friend then defended him self. I warned the vendor if he tried to attack the owner/my best friend again I would subdue him. Which he did and I proceeded to choke him out until he agreed to let go and calm down. Once he tapped out I let go and then then the police arrived.

Silvieus told Nerd & Tie that he has obtained legal counsel and plans to press charges.

19 thoughts on “Rough Justice at MetaCon

  1. Honestly, the people I most feel sorry for here are the poor police who had to sort out this mess and listen to these fascinating stories. Sounds like a really, really bad episode of “Cops.”

  2. I would guess there were a lot of people catching this on their phones, so the truth will out. I’m going to VCon in Vancouver next month, but I don’t think we’ll see this kind of drama. Sigh, I’ll just have to watch wrestling on tv.

  3. Okay, someone lost his temper, a fight started, it got broken up in a forceful manner. Perhaps too forceful. I understand.

    What I don’t understand is all the posturing like they’re on the schoolyard.

  4. Wow, aside from all the other craziness/violence, the vendor was very foolish from the get-go. Refusing to leave for violating what I presume were terms of the dealer room . . . is a good way to never get invited back to be a dealer, not just there, but elsewhere. I’ve run dealer rooms (at small cons); I’d never want someone like that in the room. I can’t imagine any DR head would.

    But yeah, like @David said – sounds like an episode of Cops!

  5. What I really don’t understand is why the *vendor* thought it was a good idea when he refused the *hotel’s* request to leave.

    He has *got* to know that this is going to affect whatever else show he goes to. As well as calling attention to himself this way is also likely to bring him to the attention of the game manufacturers. I don’t think *any* of the manufacturers are at all blase about bootleg merchandise.

    All this guy was looking at when he was first asked to leave (by the con) would be some degree of “grapevine” gossip about what he was selling. After he refused the Hotel’s request to leave they will likely slap him with a no-tresspass order to any of their properties. As well that *any* con is going think three times before renting any table space to this guy again. You do *not* want someone in your dealer’s room who is willing to cause physical mayhem.

    As someone who has done the Speaker To Hotel function in the past, I would have recommended to just have someone senior in the staff organizationto stand y until the police got there. Once he has been told to stop selling the product, and he has been told to leave by the show, and the hotel, your responsibility is to let the hotel and police handle the further action, not try to set up some sort of rinky-dink naval blockade.

    However, I wasn’t there.

    And both sides have successfully covered themselves with…. glory.

    Yeah, that’s it. Glory.

  6. I just looked at this vendor’s FaceBook page and he’s actually saying that because Walmart imports stuff like these toys that anybody should be able to.

    *If* Walmart is importing this kind of merchandise you can be d*mn sure they’re paying a licensing fee.

    Which statements are not going to help in his underlying case (he is giving corroboration to the show’s contention that he was selling unlicensed merchandise).

    Well, I’m sure there is some cell-phone video going to show up.

  7. They’re all man-boys (not for the anime, for the posturing), but the vendor is an idiot. “I was breaking the law and the contract I signed, and then I refused to comply with both, and then I lost a fight, and now I’m gonna SUE!!!” In no universe is any of that a good idea, particularly calling attention to your dumbassery.

    We are all stupider for hearing about this, etc. etc.

  8. Blame for the physical fight rests on who started it, which we’re in little position to judge given that everyone involved seems to be a hothead.

    Blame for everything else is on the vendor. When you’re asked to leave by a con and the hotel, you have to leave.

  9. Man, I would love to hear the responding officers’ version of this. I’ve been on calls at cons and other nerdly events and it can be a little….cringe-y. From both sides.

  10. If Nerd & Tie and others reporting on this haven’t already done so, the police report should be available through open records request at the PD.

  11. Well, I just fell down a Google hole on this. Whatever the situation in this particular episode, everything I read made me make a mental note to avoid both the dealer and the con-runner in the future. Just eeew.

  12. Re. who started the fight, at first it sounded like the con owner…but then his friend’s Facebook page says the vendor punched the con owner in the back of the head, and that’s why fisticuffs started?! I know this is he-said-he-said, but wow. More and more OMG….

  13. Pingback: Ryan Kopf Sues Blogger Trae Dorn | File 770

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