California Accountant Dies in Scuffle Over Strip Club Bill

A 26-year-old accountant was killed in a scuffle over a $960 dance bill at a Santa Barbara strip club, authorities said Tuesday.

David Klotz, of San Francisco, died just hours after he and his friends went to Santa Barbara's Spearmint Rhino Adult Cabaret early Saturday to celebrate a friend's wedding, according to Lt. Paul McCaffrey, a police spokesman.

The cause of death was under investigation, but McCaffrey said Klotz died soon after a scuffle with the club's security personnel. A club manager declined to comment.

According to police, Klotz and his friends arrived at the club about 1:30 a.m., but Klotz soon left the others to go to a private room with one of the dancers.

Police said his friends had left by the time the dancer told Klotz he owed $960 for the 70-minute session in the private room.

When he protested and tried to leave a scuffle ensued, McCaffrey said. By the time police arrived he was having difficulty breathing, and paramedics were called. He was taken to Cottage Hospital, where he died.

Police said they are continuing to investigate how Klotz was restrained. They said a preliminary autopsy showed he had a heart condition and his blood alcohol level was .19. The coroner's office has not determined the cause of death.

Klotz's mother said her son had high blood pressure but she was not aware of any heart problem.

"He was a happy, smiling, wonderful person," Susan Klotz said from her home in Petaluma. "He was everybody's best friend."

Her only son was a University of California, Santa Barbara, graduate who worked as an accountant with Ernst & Young in San Francisco, his mother said.

"It's a complete and utter absolute waste," she said of his death.