By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police arrested a man suspected of four sexual assaults over the last two years. Byron Whitehorn, 50, allegedly offered young women rides home from bars in LoDo.

Byron Whitehorn (credit: Denver Police)

“You can just go online and purchase an emblem off Amazon, like an off-brand one, and just stick it on your car. Anyone can pretend to be a ride-share driver,” said Laura, a former ride-booking driver and bartender at Mile High Spirits.

(credit: CBS)

Laura gets off work every weekend at 2 a.m. She says security guards at MHS will walk her to the ride she orders, then speak to the driver.

“It sends a message to the driver that somebody is expecting that person to get home safely,” explained Laura.

(credit: CBS)

She says the staff at Mile High Spirits aim to ensure the same level of safety to their customers.

General manager Steven Kuzma says their security staff has a low turnover rate. He says that allows customers to build relationships with the people looking out for their safety.

Steven Kuzma (credit: CBS)

“Guests will go out of their way just to say ‘hello’ to Earl or Ryan,” said Kuzma of two security guards.

Safety becomes an even bigger priority when hundreds of intoxicated people are leaving the bar at closing. Young guests are searching for friends, their belongings, and often times ride-hailing services.

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“We know what to look out for. If someone seems to be by themselves, or they’re on the phone looking for friends or something like that,” said Kuzma. “Usually my first question is ‘Do you have a group of people with you?’ or ‘Can I see your phone so I can find a ride for you?’ We’ll stand and wait with them.”

That may seem overbearing to someone who’s had one too many, but at Mile High Spirits, it’s good customer service.

(credit: CBS)

Kuzma says customers should never be afraid to ask him, or any employee for help, especially if they feel unsafe.

That goes for any bar downtown.

Tori Mason

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