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The go-go scene seems to be in trouble again: According to an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) report, in the small hours of Thursday morning, Club 24 went nuts.
Fans of go-go group Polo and the Boyz seem to have been responsible for the fuss, which led to a brawl and a stabbing at the club off Bladensburg Road NE.
While things might have been calm enough as Polo and the Boyz went through their set list, things went haywire after the lights went up. According to the city investigation, from 1:43 a.m. to 1:46 a.m., club security had to bounce multiple patrons. A witness to the trouble told investigators he saw “eight to nine fights break out simultaneously, and the club got chaotic.” As Ronald Roy made his way out the door with most of the crowd, a witness stated, he was stabbed in the back. Roy wasn’t fighting with anyone that night, the witness said.
So what prompted the violence? It wasn’t the music, according to security manager Aaron Watkins, but sibling rivalry. In an incident report Watkins says “the first fight was between 2 brothers and sister it was broking [sic] up quickly by security personnel and they were put outside the club. Then we had a fight between some males in the club that was broking up quickly by security.”
In any case, the violence has inspired D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier to shut down the venue for 96 hours.
In a letter to ABRA, Lanier says Polo and the Boyz are really a go-go band MPD has kept its eyes on in the past: TCB. (The two groups share some members in common.) She also says that Club 24 is dangerous: “I find that continued operation of this establishment presents an imminent danger to the health and safety of the public,” she says.
Club 24 will appear in front of the ABC board this afternoon to find out if and when it will be allowed to re-open.
Info about Club 24’s Polo and the Boyz gig was included in MPD’s secretive go-go report, though the band is listed as TCB.
UPDATE: The ABC Board accepted the District’s Offer in Compromise this afternoon for last week’s stabbing and a second stabbing incident still under investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
Beginning today, Club 24 faces a 30-day suspension, with 14 consecutive days served immediately and 16 days stayed for one year provided there are no further violations. The venue has 90 days to pay a $6,000 fine. The establishment must also provide the ABC Board with an updated security plan within the next seven days and has pledged not to hire TCB, Polo and the Boyz, members of those bands or other similar bands in the future. Club 24 must also notify the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA) of all future acts scheduled to perform at the venue.
The board voted to accept the terms with one dissent; board member Herman Jones said he found the number of days suspended “insufficient for two potential stabbings.”
The OAG is currently investigating the second stabbing incident. On June 3, 2010, “someone alleged he was stabbed with a bottle inside the club. Someone was injured, but we don’t know what happened,” said assistant attorney general Amy Schmidt at the hearing.