In the Illiad, when Greek forces happened to catch a glimpse of Helen, the woman they’d been fighting a costly war with the Trojans over (Paris just had to have her), they commiserated: “Beauty, terrible beauty.”

Dominican eatery and bar Carolina Palace, on 14th Street NW, might say the same thing, if Metropolitan Police Department allegations can be believed. The nightlife spot, which sometimes blasts salsa and reggaeton from its dark interior, has had multiple incidents of violence, most recently a stabbing. Desire might be a factor.

At an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration hearing today, MPD officer Eric GarciaBurgos said the violence wasn’t Carolina Palace’s fault. “The problem isn’t the place itself, it’s basically the patrons,” said the officer, who sped to the eatery after an April 9 stabbing that occurred around 3:15 a.m. The bloody altercation came after a fight started inside the establishment and migrated outside. The incident prompted ABRA to schedule a fact-finding hearing. When Garcia-Burgos interviewed the victim’s friends, they said it all started over a woman. That didn’t surprise the cop in the least. “Whatever incident happens [at Carolina Palace],” said Garcia-Burgos, “nine times out of ten it has to do with females.”

(Of course, if that’s the case, Feminism 101 teaches us that at the core of that awful dynamic is women being treated as objects.)

Owner Esteban Ramirez says there’s something besides sexism at work, though. He told the board the area around his restaurant gets crowded because there are four other establishments nearby, and the crowding causes chaos as patrons head home. Of course, that couldn’t have contributed to the stabbing he was there to talk about, since the conflict happened inside. But Garcia-Burgos said the area sometimes lacks patrols, because it happens to be on the border of his police district, the 4th, and its neighbor, the 3rd. The 4th has no problem covering its territory, but the area is “real busy” for the 3rd, “so unfortunately they can’t always have people out there.”

Whatever is to blame, the business won’t be punished. The board declined to take further action.

Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0