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In an altercation that left Washington Redskins player Brandon Banks with stitches—and his friend Christopher Nixon, with serious stab wounds—the buddy of the football player may have thrown the first punch, according to charging documents.
The court papers for Jason Dacosta Shorter, who has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, also say that police have obtained security footage that shows the blow-by-blow of the incident, which happened in front of the Park at Fourteenth nightclub at 920 14th Street NW, around 3 a.m. Saturday.
The argument, which reportedly began with a comment about the fact that Shorter was wearing white after Labor Day, took place as Shorter left the club. Court papers say there’s video of Shorter pulling a knife and then hiding it behind his back as words flew. Nixon then allegedly punched Shorter. It wasn’t clear from court papers whether the blow was dealt out of anger or in an effort to preempt a knife attack from Shorter.
By this point, Banks might have been trying to break things up, according to media reports. A bouncer also intervened, getting between the parties.
But Shorter allegedly “reached over” the bouncer to stab Nixon, according to the court documents. Nixon and Banks, the documents say, “then became engaged in a physical altercation in which defendant repeatedly stabbed” the football player and his friend.
Both men were later hospitalized: Banks with a stab wound to the abdomen, Nixon with multiple stabs to the face and upper body. Nixon is in critical condition; Banks’ wounds were superficial.
Cops originally arrested Shorter on assault with the intent to kill, but prosecutors filed the lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon. That Nixon initiated the physical part of the altercation could be a reason why the lesser charge was filed. William Miller, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, says the office reviews every case in order to decide what charges will be first presented to the court. “In this case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Mr. Shorter with assault with a dangerous weapon. Because the matter remains under investigation, we have no additional comment on the case.”
As an interesting side-note, this is the kind of nightclub crime that prompts the city to impose an emergency closure of a spot like Park at Fourteenth. But Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokeswoman Cynthia Simms says it’s unlikely that such a sanction is coming. Why? “The incident didn’t happen inside the club,” Simms says. If it had, she says, the club would likely have been shut down for a period.
Though it doesn’t face being closed, Park at Fourteenth will probably face an ABRA inquiry over the fact that Shorter, allegedly a patron of the establishment that night, had a weapon on him even though he would have gone through the club security.
Read below to see the charging documents.