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Georgia Avenue’s Ibex club is a vibrant showplace for some of Washington’s best home-grown musical talent. But with its weekly stabbings, shootings, car thefts—and an occasional homicide—it’s a wonder the place can stay in business (see “The Sound and the Fury,” 2/16). The violence that seems to plague the club’s go-go shows in particular—bands like Back Yard, Junkyard, the Huck-a-Bucks, and Optimystic Tribe—has certainly caught the attention of the Metropolitan Police Department, whose 4th District station is just across the street. But the police have opted to work with the Ibex management to try to make it safer rather than close it down altogether—it’s generating tax revenue, after all.
But what the police won’t do, the growing list of injured club patrons might. In the last month-and-a-half, three different people have sued the club for failing to provide adequate security in incidents dating back to October 1994. The first suit was filed June 17 by Tracey Owens Staton, a guy who was stabbed four times by another clubgoer last summer. (The police never caught the assailant.) Staton is asking for $1.5 million in compensation to pay for the stab wounds he suffered in the chest, upper arm, and shoulder. Attorney Neil Florin is representing all three injured Ibex customers, whose claims total more than $3 million. He says, “It’s a crazy place. Who’s running a club where people are getting stabbed every weekend?”—Stephanie Mencimer