By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
By Pete Kotz
By Monica Alonzo
By New Times
But Brian Weymouth, a veteran Valley restaurant manager/sports-entertainment agent who has hobnobbed and done business with those men, succeeded in doing just that.
Weymouth, who is 53 and lives in Paradise Valley, is in serious trouble with the law, currently facing six felony charges, including theft, forgery, and trafficking in stolen property. A county grand jury indicted the onetime Arizona State University pitcher last October 26. He was freed from jail in lieu of $25,000 bond and has pleaded not guilty.
The case stems from an incident in November 2010, when Weymouth and some associates allegedly stole more than $100,000 in equipment from a failed Mesa emporium named after the legendary boxing champ — Julio Cesar Chavez Campeones Restaurant — that Weymouth partially had owned. (He is the only person who was charged.)
"He is a man who does not do what he says he promises he will do," Chavez tells New Times through an interpreter, his Tijuana-based attorney, Zirael Jasso Colin. "He is a man to run from, before he says a word and you start to believe his bullshit. He is as big of a con as I have ever known."
Speaking of being conned, those aware of the champ's saga know he lost millions of dollars in his heyday to notorious boxing promoter Don King. Chavez testified against his former boss in a mid-1990s insurance fraud trial that ended with King's acquittal.
Brian Weymouth also is accused of forging and falsifying documents filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission and Secretary of State's Office to make it appear that he, and not his former partners, owned the remaining equipment in the restaurant.
Actually, it belonged to a family trust set up by Weymouth's onetime partner, Wisconsin businessman Dan Wergin, who had funded the ambitious Mesa restaurant project for about $3 million.
The Wergin Family Trust had been leasing the equipment to the restaurant since it opened for business in November 2009. Weymouth, as a managing partner, had signed both the lease agreement and two subsequent check payments.
The sprawling site at South Country Club Drive near Southern Avenue easily could hold 2,000 people on a given night, and featured numerous large-screen TVs, a concert stage, a boxing ring and "museum" of Chavez-dominated fight memorabilia, a game arcade for kids, and full-service bar and restaurant.
Campeones was owned equally by Brian Weymouth and Dan Wergin, at 45 percent each. A third businessman, Brian O'Connor (who scaled Mount Everest and is the son of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) controlled the remaining 10 percent.
Weymouth claimed to have an "exclusive" business relationship with Chavez and was supposed to be paying the iconic fighter from his own share of advance royalties, which were $12,000 a month until Campeones opened.
In turn, Chavez promised to make appearances at the club to attract his durable Latino fan base.
"I wasn't in great shape at the time," Chavez says, referring to highly publicized substance-abuse problems that led him into rehab (he says he's been clean for about a year and a half), "and I don't remember a lot of stuff. All I know is that I wasn't getting paid what I should have been."
Weymouth calls the previously unpublicized falling-out with Chavez and his ex-partners at Campeones a simple business dispute that never should have landed in criminal court. He faults bad luck and a cabal of high-powered enemies for his current legal and financial woes.
"I can't make a living in this town anymore because of all this," Weymouth says.
He claims that his rotten luck emanated from the Phoenix area's increasingly depressed economy and the anti-immigrant sentiment that enveloped the Valley with the advent of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's publicity-driven workplace raids and the subsequent flight of thousands of Latinos from Arizona.
Weymouth says the bad vibes against Hispanics pretty much doomed Campeones.
He also blames these "enemies," especially Brian O'Connor, a member of the sheriff's so-called advisory posse. Weymouth says Arpaio's investigators went after him criminally solely to pacify an angry O'Connor after the business partnership soured, and the money man whom O'Connor brought into the fold, Dan Wergin, lost everything he had put into the project — more than $3 million.
Weymouth attempted early last year to head off possible indictment, hiring Dennis Wilenchik, the onetime private attorney for Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, to urge the sheriff's new chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, to end the investigation.
But the effort by Wilenchik (who was involved in the 2007 arrests of this paper's owners on bogus criminal charges that later were dropped) failed. Instead, Weymouth was booked into a county jail in late October, his mug shot posted on the Internet for the world to see.
"I'm not a criminal," Weymouth told New Times in a January 9 phone call. "I'm a family guy with a great reputation that has been trashed by very greedy people.
"This story really should be about a guy from a powerful Arizona family, Brian O'Connor, who used both his mother's name and his connection to Arpaio to get a criminal investigation going because a business deal he put together went south. And it should be about a county prosecutor [Deputy County Attorney Maryann McKessey] who has it in for me personally, for whatever reason.
"I have done a lot for this community since I came to ASU to pitch for [legendary baseball coach] Jim Brock [in 1979 and 1980]. This has been very stressful for me, my wife of 30-plus years, and my three great kids."
Undoubtedly, the Brian Weymouth case (which encompasses several ongoing cases in Maricopa County Superior Court) is a mosaic of broken personal and professional relationships.
It includes a bunch of fast talkers, famous names, and lots of money — most of it lost at this point.
The luminaries include Cooper (Phoenix's most storied music-maker), Chavez (Mexico's most storied boxer), and Sandra Day O'Connor (Arizona's most storied judge).
Cooper and Chavez were Weymouth's business partners in separate deals. Both men now are accusing the sports and entertainment agent of the same thing, which is misappropriating and stealing large sums of money from businesses he was in charge of shepherding — downtown Phoenix's Coopers'town first and, later, Campeones.
"Brian is someone who just can't stop himself from doing things he shouldn't," says Shep Gordon, Alice Cooper's longtime manager. "And when confronted with his wrongdoing, I don't think remorse enters the picture. Instead, the rhythm of his relationships is that he blames everyone else and sues. I'll give him this: He is a ballsy SOB."
Cooper introduced Weymouth to Gordon after they first met in the mid-'90s while coaching their sons in an Arcadia youth baseball league.
The 63-year-old rock star (née Vincent Fournier) tells New Times, "Shep and I have worked together 43 years on a handshake. I feel bad that I introduced him to Brian Weymouth, who obviously operates in a different way. [Neither] handshakes nor contracts seem to mean anything to him."
That is almost word for word what Ahmed Santos has to say about Weymouth.
Santos, a former professional boxer who now writes a newspaper column and is a TV fight commentator in Mexico, says he was "the hookup between Weymouth and Julio. It makes me sick. [Weymouth] is a good talker, but he doesn't walk the walk. There's always some excuse; it's always someone else's fault. He's like the guy in that movie Catch Me If You Can, smiling and funny — until he's not."
No matter who is right or wrong, many of those involved with Brian Weymouth, including seemingly seasoned businesspeople, clearly failed to do due diligence before agreeing to put their faith — and their money — with him.
A prime example is how Brian O'Connor introduced Wergin to Weymouth as a potential investor in the multimillion-dollar Campeones project before checking out details of Weymouth's ugly 2006 departure from Coopers'town, which now is the subject of its own civil litigation.
No one seems to have even questioned Weymouth about his own financial past, which included three bankruptcies (two personal and one business-related) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or about lawsuits in which he was (and is) a defendant, all over allegedly broken financial promises.
Instead, they were wowed by his convincing patter and friendly disposition, endless name-dropping, and promises of a pot of gold sitting just around the bend.
"I would call Brian the artful dodger," says Dale Jensen, former majority owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and a venture capitalist whose own dealings with Weymouth by his own account "cost me several hundred thousand dollars, at the least. I have always done it by the book, but I took Brian at his word, period. That's on me."
Weymouth's criminal attorney disagrees that his client is dirty.
"Mr. Weymouth has, in fact, been a pillar of the community," Craig Orent wrote in a recent court pleading, "as evidenced by his numerous contacts and friendships with judges (former and present), former prosecutors, his prior business successes, and his community involvement."
Orent continues, "Yet a disgruntled former partner or two comes forward and, with one fell swoop, convinces or influences a prosecutor to shed her objectivity and to personally attack Mr. Weymouth."
Weymouth does have some folks (not counting the attorneys he's paying) in his corner, including former colleague Mike Rakowsky.
"Brian is far from perfect, but who is?" Rakowsky says, sounding like the public-relations pro he is. "He had winners, such as Coopers'town, and restaurants before that one. He's had losers, too, like all of us. But for Julio and the others to stick the knife in him at this point is really disappointing."
Brian Weymouth has nothing nice to say about his estranged business partner Brian O'Connor.
He insists that O'Connor has "used his mother's good name to influence various governmental agencies . . . Sandra Day O'Connor either knows [that] or she doesn't, [but] either way, her influence is being used with or without her permission."
To try to prove his point, he provided New Times with a July 2010 pleading from Mesa Municipal Court filed by a defense attorney for Ahmed Santos — the boxer turned commentator and close associate of Chavez's.
In March 2010, Mesa police charged Santos with misdemeanor assault after a brief clash with Weymouth at Campeones over money and supposedly broken promises.
Phoenix attorney Bruce Alldredge asked the court to postpone a hearing because "one of the witnesses, Brian O'Connor (son of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor), will be unable to appear."
The judge granted the postponement and later found Santos not guilty of the assault. (In a separate proceeding, a Superior Court judge also declined around that time to sign an "order of protection" requested by Weymouth against Santos.)
Weymouth later filed a complaint against Alldredge with the State Bar of Arizona, which declined to pursue the matter in spite of a staff attorney's telling Alldredge in writing that the Judge O'Connor reference "gave the appearance of impropriety."
"Brian has an M.O. of using his mother to go out to dinner or golf with potential investors and then sucks them into investing in his car washes," Weymouth wrote to New Times recently.
O'Connor has a short response to the allegations.
"He is a professional liar," O'Connor says of Weymouth. "I really wish I never had laid eyes on him. He has caused a lot of people nothing but grief."
Brian Weymouth is charged with stealing a large amount of property and trafficking at least some of it.
Another part of the indictment alleges that the theft happened a few weeks after he filed phony paperwork with two state agencies in an attempt to legitimize the upcoming heist.
Last October's grand jury indictment dramatically upped the ante for Weymouth in what already had been an ongoing series of bitterly fought lawsuits involving the Cooper and Chavez camps. It is his first known brush with the criminal justice system.
A native of Washington state, Brian Weymouth landed in Arizona in the late 1970s to attend Central Arizona College as a baseball pitcher.
Weymouth crafted a decent college career, first at Central and later at ASU.
After college, he married a Scottsdale girl (his wife, Renee, is a former Mrs. Arizona America winner) and eventually migrated into the restaurant business.
Weymouth won some publicity in the early '90s when Acapulco Bay Beach Club, his high-profile restaurant on East Thomas Road, became one of the first in the nation to institute mandatory drug testing for current and prospective employees. (It came after Phoenix cops raided the place.)
The nation's drug czar, Bill Bennett, deemed Weymouth a "model citizen."
But Weymouth was struggling financially. Court records show that he and his wife declared bankruptcy in October 1986 and again in April 1993. They also filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy (a reorganization of assets and debts) in May 1992, after the state of Arizona issued a lien of almost $7,000 in unpaid taxes.
Weymouth is resilient. In 1996, he and another local guy bought the Arizona Sandsharks indoor soccer franchise from sports mogul and developer Jerry Colangelo. But the league folded the following year, before the team could play another game.
The Weymouths have three children, all of whom have won athletic scholarships to colleges (one still is in school).
Weymouth was deeply involved in his kids' sporting activities. Not only did he coach his two sons in the Arcadia youth baseball leagues, but he also announced games over the public-address system, entertaining parents and players with his sense of humor.
Weymouth always has been all about connections, and a ball yard is as good a place as any to make them. Around 1996, he befriended Alice Cooper, a fellow coach in the league.
Cooper still may have a reputation as a shock rocker (with boa constrictors, guillotines, and such), but off the stage, he is a teetotaling, born-again Christian and family man more interested in driving ranges and chord progressions than business. But Weymouth approached Cooper with a proposition that sounded intriguing:
The Arizona Diamondbacks were set to begin their inaugural season in 1998.
Weymouth's idea (at least he claims it was his) was to build the Taj Mahal of bars near the ballpark, with a unique thematic twist that would mix sports and rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
"Alice never had come to me with a business idea, ever," Cooper manager Shep Gordon recalls, "but he asked me if I would talk to Weymouth. So I did. I gave Brian a hard time at first, but I warmed to the idea and decided that we should go for it."
A site on Jackson Street just south of the Phoenix Suns' arena and a few blocks from the new ballpark seemed perfect.
A management company, Celebrity Restaurants, was created as Coopers'town's parent company, with about 40 percent each held by Cooper and Weymouth and the remaining 20 percent by Gordon.
Weymouth was to oversee construction and then manage the restaurant.
Business boomed at Coopers'town for years, and the place became a fixture for usually packed weekend music shows, pay-for-view boxing events, and other entertainment.
Weymouth continued to run the restaurant as his primary business partners, Gordon and Cooper, were living in Maui and on a golf course, respectively.
Weymouth was able to purchase a 35-foot boat and dock it in San Diego as a present for his wife, Renee.
But by early 2006, Gordon wrote in an e-mail that tensions over Coopers'town finances were escalating. "Things are about to get nuclear," he wrote of the schism between Weymouth and the Cooper/Gordon tandem.
Six years later, Gordon recalls the situation as a matter of misplaced trust: "We finally start to ask and re-ask questions of Brian about where the money was going, and we weren't getting anything back but B.S. And more B.S."
A vicious written exchange between Gordon and Weymouth ensued.
A lawyer for the Cooper/Gordon side summarized their issues with Weymouth in court documents filed last year:
"Weymouth utilized Coopers'town funds to pay personal credit card charges; he stole cash from the safe and used it for personal purposes; paid for personal events such as an anniversary party at his home with Coopers'town funds; used Coopers'town's funds to assist his children in writing college letters and to pay for their baseball instructions."
Weymouth denied (and continues to deny) any wrongdoing and, in turn, accused Gordon and Cooper of all manner of financial malfeasance of their own.
He resigned as the managing partner of Coopers'town in January 2006.
Soon, he went to work on a potential new project, one that first depended on selling himself to one of the most famous names in boxing history and an enduring hero to millions of Latinos.
Julio Cesar Chavez was in a bad way when he connected with Weymouth in 2006.
As late former heavyweight champ Sonny Liston is noted to have said: "A boxer's career usually ends with a blues song and not with a national anthem."
Chavez's brilliant run ended ingloriously at age 43 at America West Arena (now US Airways Center) in September 2005, when he quit after four rounds in a meaningless fight against journeyman Grover Wiley.
It was a bitter end to a brilliant career that included 89 wins in a row en route to six world titles in three weight divisions.
Chavez was one of the world's most popular fighters, earning millions of dollars in winnings and endorsements.
But cocaine and alcohol took their toll on Chavez, who comes from a prizefighting world, to quote writer Jack Newfield, "where the lions are scared of the rats."
Ill-fated investments with shady characters left him in tenuous financial shape, and his unreliability had cost him endorsement and appearance fees.
Chavez also faced massive IRS problems, and by August 2009, he owed — and apparently still owes — the U.S. government $21.2 million in unpaid back taxes.
Still, Brian Weymouth knew how Chavez remained beloved among fight fans, even after his boxing career faded.
He got to Chavez through Ahmed Santos, the former boxer who lived in Phoenix after quitting the ring in 2001.
"Brian would go down to Mexico and visit with Julio and me," Santos recalls, "and he wouldn't stop coming, even if Julio wasn't himself. He finally won him over."
Weymouth says he spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to bring Chavez into the fold before the champ signed a binding agreement with him around 2007. His task was to find endorsement deals and other ways to use Chavez's moneymaking name.
In return, he and Chavez — and, to a lesser extent, Santos — would reap the rewards.
Weymouth says he worked several successful deals on Chavez's behalf before their relationship collapsed in early 2010.
"I reinvented his brand [and] put hundreds of thousands of dollars in his pockets," Weymouth tells New Times, "and he is still living off all the brands I created and which everyone is fighting for . . . [But] I believe he is loyal to whoever, wherever, the dollars are flowing from."
Chavez's response: "I would have liked to see all of that money I had coming to me from all these deals. But I didn't, and Weymouth knows it."
Sagart changed the name of his dealership to the Julio Cesar Chavez Auto Group, and he tells New Times that he paid tens of thousands of dollars to Weymouth over an 18-month period. The bulk of that sum was supposed to go to Chavez, Sagart says, but Chavez's attorney, Zirael Colin, says it didn't.
"Julio asked me personally at one point what was up with his money, that he wasn't getting shit," Sagart says. "After I kept getting the runaround from Weymouth — he's the best at that — I cut off paying [Weymouth] because I honestly wanted to make sure that Julio would get what was owed him. Weymouth should be in jail for how he operates and then tries to talk his way out of it."
Brian O'Connor says he first met Brian Weymouth at a Scottsdale health club, probably in 2006.
Weymouth talked himself up, noting that he was looking for an investor for a new concept of his, which later became the Julio Cesar Chavez Campeones Restaurant.
Around that time, O'Connor became acquainted with Dan Wergin, an eclectic businessman from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Wergin has worked in commercial real estate, was the founder of a successful wind-turbine company, and owns his native state's second-largest cherry-producing farm.
Wergin and his wife spend winters in Arizona, and he was looking for an investment opportunity somewhere in the Valley.
To his regret, O'Connor introduced Wergin to Weymouth, about whom he knew little other than the guy had run Coopers'town and knows a lot of famous people.
"Coopers'town was what Brian [Weymouth] brought to the table, for starters, and then he sold me on Julio and what he was worth as a name," Wergin says.
In June 2008, the trio formed an LLC registered in Arizona, JCC Campeones One. They had two projects on the table, the Mesa restaurant and an energy drink called Affordable Bebidas, both of which would feature Chavez's name.
Weymouth would be in charge of turning an old Home Depot in Mesa into a 30,000-square-foot venue. Wergin was to provide the capital — it would end up being more than $3 million — for the project. The agreement called for the LLC to repay Wergin's loan once profits rolled in.
Weymouth's contribution to the partnership was his licensing arrangement with Chavez and all of $1,000 (the same sum as O'Connor put in).
JCC Campeones and the companion energy drink company would pay royalties to Weymouth's own firm, which in turn was supposed to pay Chavez.
Weymouth signed a personal guarantee in Wergin's favor for $1.35 million in case things didn't work out, listing his Paradise Valley home as his biggest asset. It turns out that Weymouth's home is owned by a family trust and isn't a personal asset, though Wergin says he didn't know that until much later.
Campeones may have been doomed before it opened for business in November 2009.
Cost overruns totaled more than $1 million (those involved point fingers at who was to blame), the Valley's economy was collapsing, and anti-illegal-immigration sentiment was polarizing the population.
But Campeones was beautiful inside, and the venue's opening on November 10, 2009, was greeted with universal praise from patrons and the media.
Julio Cesar Chavez and Brian Weymouth stood together, arms raised as one, in the restaurant's boxing ring that night, taking in cheers from the audience.
That, perhaps, was Campeones' brightest moment.
To run Campeones day to day, Weymouth hired Jared Flowers, who tells New Times that critical problems arose within weeks.
"I came to learn that Brian was bleeding the place dry with all kinds of side deals he was making with people I had no idea about," says Flowers, who now manages a Wildflower Bread Company in Scottsdale. "Promoters would come in for an event and get all the door proceeds, money would be unaccounted for, you name it.
"Brian didn't have any idea what was going on in the day-to-day operation. He would come in every Friday or Saturday night and drink all night and tell us everything was going fine. The bar and the venue were making money, but I would try to tell him that the food was way overpriced and many other obvious issues. He'd just shine me off."
By early January 2010, just two months after the grand opening, relations between Dan Wergin and Brian Weymouth were fraying.
Wergin had returned to Arizona for the winter and was stunned to learn firsthand that his huge investment already was teetering. After looking into the problems, he says, he came to blame Weymouth.
As part of the 2008 operating agreement, Wergin could ask his other two partners for a "cash call," an infusion of capital into JCC Campeones and to Affordable Bebidas.
Wergin did just that, giving Weymouth 90 days (60 days more than was in the contract) to pony up more than $500,000. Weymouth responded by claiming the "cash call" was illegal and never put in a penny.
When the 90-day period was up, Wergin and O'Connor voted to reduce Weymouth's ownership in the LLC from 45 percent to almost nothing.
By then, on another legal front, Weymouth had filed suit against Alice Cooper and Shep Gordon, alleging breach of contract, fraud, and other civil wrongdoing, and saying he had been forced to resign because of "a pattern of misconduct." (The men soon filed their own countersuit.)
Wergin says he learned of the Cooper'stown litigation by accident and decided to compare notes with the Cooper group.
"I knew who Alice Cooper was from my old rock 'n' roll days, but I had no idea what had been going on at Coopers'town," Wergin says. "I thought it would be important to learn some more things about Brian, even though it was too late. All of us had a conference call, and that was that."
A former bookkeeper for Campeones, Tabatha Hancock — who may be Weymouth's strongest witness in his criminal and civil cases — put a different spin on that conference call.
In a February 2011 affidavit, Hancock claimed that the conversation among Wergin, O'Connor, Shep Gordon, and another person led to her resignation from Campeones.
"[They] plotted a scheme to destroy Mr. Weymouth both financially and emotionally," Hancock wrote. "I could no longer remain a silent witness, as this was a conspiracy to destroy Mr. Weymouth's family, his marriage, his income, and his future."
Hancock blamed Wergin and Jared Flowers, not Weymouth, for having "mismanaged" Campeones and Bebidas.
Late one night in early May 2010, Brian Weymouth came into the restaurant with two off-duty Mesa police officers and a locksmith.
Jared Flowers says Weymouth told him that he was shutting down Campeones and changing the locks.
"I told my staff to leave and not come back until I told them otherwise," Flowers says. "It was like a scene from a movie, a bad movie."
Records show that a few weeks after closing Campeones, Weymouth filed for bankruptcy on behalf of JCC Campeones — the company from which he recently had been booted by Wergin and O'Connor.
The latter two men say they knew nothing about the extraordinary bankruptcy petition until after the fact, and it would take them months (and substantial legal fees) to undo it in federal court.
"We were kind of shell-shocked at first," says Wergin. "I've been in business a long time, and I'd never been through anything like this. The bankruptcy froze all the assets, and we couldn't just walk into Campeones and grab our stuff and leave."
He also says he didn't know that Weymouth had collected a whole new set of investors and was planning to reopen the site under two names — AZ Country and Cooperstown (note the lack of an apostrophe to distinguish it from Alice Cooper's establishment).
One of those new investors was Bob Colburn, a Phoenix man who turned over $175,000 to Weymouth, funds he says he foolishly had pulled from his 401(k).
"I had a lawyer check Brian out, and we thought he had control of Campeones and could do what he wanted with the site," Colburn says. "I became a 22 percent owner, and I thought everything was going to be great." (Weymouth also received about $80,000 from Brandon Miles, a young Tempe man whose father, supposedly a friend of Weymouth's, had died and left him money.)
AZ Country opened in July 2010, the same month that Julio Cesar Chavez sent the second of two letters to Weymouth formally terminating their long-dead business relationship.
The new restaurant lasted only a few months before it, too, was shuttered.
"I lost everything to that son of a bitch," Colburn says.
Colburn says he was driving by Campeones/AZ Country on the night in November 2010 when Weymouth and others were loading the restaurant equipment into rental trucks — the action for which Weymouth now faces felony charges.
"I had been asking Brian — begging Brian to buy me out — to give me my money back," Colburn says. "He wasn't responding. I didn't even know they had closed AZ Country. The whole thing was outrageous."
Last August, Brian Weymouth filed a notice of claim against Maricopa County and several officials, including Sheriff Arpaio and the deputy county attorney prosecuting him in the theft case.
The claim, often the precursor to a lawsuit, says he will seek millions of dollars for "pain and suffering" and other alleged damages to himself and his family.
Weymouth asked county officials to contact former state Attorney General Grant Woods, "who will be litigating the case," if they had questions.
But Woods tells New Times via a Facebook message, "Re Brian: Known him for years. Don't represent him on anything. He talked to me several times about this situation. I was hopeful it could be resolved, but nobody seemed interested . . . I also know and respect Alice [Cooper]. So I don't know what went on here, but again I wish they could have worked it out and moved on."
Ed Tobin, a Tempe insurance agent who was a partner in the abbreviated (and costly) AZ Country project, pegs Brian Weymouth this way:
"I know what Brian is all about — everyone does. Some people would say he's an evil sociopath, but not me. He's just a guy. You just have to make sure you keep your eyes wide open when you're around him."