- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The managers of a Dupont Circle restaurant that was closed following a deadly melee after a private party ended said Tuesday they are “reviewing its contracting procedures for private events.”

The brawl erupted at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, prompted by a fight between two men inside the Heritage India restaurant on Connecticut Avenue Northwest.

The men were ejected and security staff ended the party by telling patrons to leave, according to a statement issued by management on the Heritage India website.

Once patrons were forced out, Jhonte Coleman, 34, of Suitland was fatally shot. Two other men also were shot and three were stabbed. Management said all of the attacks occurred outside the restaurant after security shut the doors, contradicting prior media reports that a man was stabbed inside the venue.

Security guards found one of the stabbing victims “leaning against the main door of the restaurant and brought him inside to render medical aid,” according to the statement.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier invoked emergency powers Sunday to close the restaurant for 96 hours.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is scheduled Wednesday to review an investigative report on the incident, a spokeswoman for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration said. The board will make a recommendation on how to proceed with the investigation, including whether the restaurant should remain closed longer.

The restaurant was hosting a private party, billed as Black Out with free shots served to ladies, according to fliers for the event held on the night of the attacks.

Restaurant management said that it “is prepared to participate in a constructive dialogue with police and city officials to promote a safe, hospitable environment for nightlife activities.”

No arrests so far have been made from the violent outbreak.



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