Guilty plea ends strip club torture case

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — No trial was necessary after the fourth and final defendant facing torture and assault charges at the Bada Bing! Lounge pleaded guilty Monday before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow.

Ryan English, 26, will be sentenced on Dec. 16 after pleading guilty to torture — a felony with a potential 10-year prison sentence — and felony use of a firearm, a potential two-year sentence.

English was one of four defendants in a scene that Wayne County Prosecutor described as something from a Hollywood gangster movie. According to police and the prosecutor’s office, English and fellow defendants Henry Ramirez, 36, Coty Grifka, 27, and Nathaniel Brewer, 23, kidnapped and tortured Dennis Cole in the basement of the all-nude club in September 2010. Cole went to the club in the early morning hours to collect pay for unspecified work, but was instead taken to the basement and tied to a chair. Police said the four defendants pistol-whipped Cole, hit him with a hammer and took a power drill to his hand.

Ramirez, an employee at the club, entered a no-contest plea shortly before a scheduled May jury trial, and accepted a sentence of four-to-10 years for torture and two years for felony firearm possession. Grifka and Brewer pleaded guilty and were sentenced in May to, respectively, 12 months and six months in jail.

(James Mitchell can be reached at