DC's police chief ordered an historic U Street nightclub closed for 96 hours after reports of a crime inside. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.
For the second time in about a week, a nightclub in the popular U Street corridor was temporarily shut down by D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
The four-day closure of 2000 11th St. NW follows the alleged sexual assault of a woman. According to police, a 25-year-old woman reported being the victim of “a sexual act against her will" about 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
The building houses the historic Bohemian Caverns jazz club on the ground floor, a restaurant called The Tap & Parlour on the second floor and LIV nightclub on the third floor -- all under the same ownership. The report police report does not specify where in the building the alleged crime took place.
Lanier ordered Indulj Restaurant and Lounge a block away shut down for 96 hours Dec. 3 after a triple shooting outside.
“It’s almost ‘close first and ask questions later,’” said Andrew Kline, a licensing representative for D.C. bars and restaurants.
“Surely a sexual assault is a serious situation, we don’t make light of that, however I don’t see under the law how that’s an imminently dangerous condition which is the requirement that must be met,” Kline said.
An overly broad interpretation of the 96-hour law could have an economic impact, longtime D.C. nightlife impresario Mark Lee said.
“It’s never been safer to go, and that’s why it’s disappointing when the police chief misapplies this law in situations that don’t warrant it because the public safety is not in danger,” he said.
Fourteen establishments have received the temporary shutdown order in 2012. Nine were temporarily shut down in 2011.
Bohemian Caverns, LIV and The Tap & Parlour can reopen at 6 p.m. Wednesday.