- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Attorneys for a popular nightclub urged city alcohol regulators yesterday to reinstate Club U’s liquor license, with a witness testifying that more security could solve some problems.

The club’s license was suspended Feb. 14, one day after Terrence Brown, 31, was found stabbed to death in the city’s Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, where the club is located.

After hearing hours of testimony in the weeks after Mr. Brown’s death, the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted in March to proceed with hearings on whether Club U’s license should be permanently revoked.

Prosecutors from the city’s Office of the Attorney General rested their case yesterday after calling a homicide detective who investigated a fatal shooting outside the club in November 2003.

The shooting is one example of what the attorneys have said is a “persistent pattern” of violence at the go-go club. They said more than a dozen serious crimes have been reported in or near Club U in the past two years, including three homicides and two nonfatal stabbings.

David Wilmot, an attorney for the club’s owners, responded to those charges by calling Trevor Hewick, a private detective hired by Club U, to look into the spate of crimes.

Mr. Hewick said the club’s security guards have intervened in various assaults. But when alcohol regulators asked whether the guards were well-trained, he replied, “It was below-standard.”

He also testified that the guards should train with professionals to better deal with angry and intoxicated patrons.

Mr. Hewick said Club U could be safer if the owners coordinated better with D.C. police and other officers. And he suggested the club hire an off-duty officer or someone with the authority to make arrests.

Warren C. Williams Jr., one of the club’s owners, has said he offered to reimburse D.C. police to provide additional security but was rebuffed.

Also at the hearing yesterday, Charles A. Burger, chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, said he wanted to know whether alcohol was a factor in the violence — and whether police should be routinely called when a crime occurs.

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