Kid Rock, plaintiff expected to testify today

The man who says he was beaten up by Kid Rock and his entourage three years ago is expected to testify today in the ongoing civil court case in DeKalb County.

Kid Rock, whose real name is Rob Ritchie, also is expected to take the stand.

Wednesday, the guitarist for Kid Rock testified that he was the first person to throw a punch in the infamous Waffle House melee involving the singer.

The plaintiff, Harlen Akins, suffered some injuries but nothing too serious, according to several medical experts who testified.

Akins is suing for $6,000 in medical costs plus pain and suffering.

"He told us that he was hurting all over," said Vaughn Andrews, a DeKalb County firefighter who responded to the Buford Highway restaurant on Oct. 21, 2007 and carted Akins to Northside Hospital. "I remember specifically that he said he was hurting everywhere."

On the opening day of the trial Tuesday, a Waffle House waitress had said Akins was being attacked while he was down on the ground, and a man who was dining there that morning had testified that Akins "was covered in blood."

But Andrews testified Wednesday that he saw no blood on Akins nor evidence of internal bleeding and that there were no signs of major trauma. Akins also had no problems with his vision, speech or motor skills, scoring perfectly on a test for signs of coma, Andrews said.

Lawyers for Ritchie contend that Ritchie and his five co-defendants acted in self-defense and that Akins overstated his injuries.

Several doctors whom Akins saw after the incident -- a family practitioner, an eye specialist and a brain specialist -- testified Wednesday that he suffered injuries consistent with an assault, including a bruised right eye and a swollen face. But none of them said he suffered severe injury.

The guitarist for Ritchie, Jason Krause, acknowledged that he landed a blow to Akins' face. But Krause said he threw the punch in self-defense after Akins made a sudden move with a fork and plate nearby.

"I didn't know what he was going to grab, so I just tapped him on the cheek," Krause said.

The group then dragged Akins out of the Waffle House, and all of the defendants who testified said Akins tried to fight his way back in.

The fight allegedly stemmed from a chance encounter between Akins and one of the defendants, Davina Barnes.

Barnes of Sandy Springs is a longtime friend of Ritchie, and was out celebrating news that his album, Rock N Roll Jesus, had just topped the charts. They had been in the band's tour bus after a concert when they all got hungry and decided to visit the Waffle House on Buford Highway.

Barnes and Akins had met 15 years previously and had had some kind of disagreement in the past. She said that when Akins realized she was seated nearby, he started pestering her. She said she tried to ignore him, but tempers flared after Akins taunted Ritchie with a reference to his ex-wife Pamela Anderson. "He asked, ‘How's Pam doing tonight?' " Barnes said. "It was a smart aleck remark; it was an insult."

Surveillance cameras that captured the by now well-circulated footage of the fight also caught the moments of calm beforehand. Akins and Ritchie exchanged pleasantries and even shook hands a couple times.

Then, as Ritchie's party tells it, Akins grew angry and started yelling expletives, Ritchie's party responded and the fight ensued. The defendants said Akins threatened to call some friends and have them shot, and they said he even exposed himself to the entire restaurant after they tossed him outside.

Krause testified that Ritchie tried to respond in kind from the other side of the window, but he couldn't get his pants loose.

Ritchie's group said they confronted Akins again when they tried to leave the restaurant and that he fell down on his own.

Ritchie was arrested after the brawl and sentenced to 12 months probation and anger-management counseling.

Testimony resumes before DeKalb County State Court Judge Johnny Panos on Thursday morning.