Police Push to Shut Down Bar After Stabbing - NBC4 Washington

Police Push to Shut Down Bar After Stabbing

Police: stabbing highlights underage drinking problem



    A fight near the University of Maryland is leading police to crack down on underage drinking. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010)

    University of Maryland Police want to shut down a bar near campus after a fight led to four people getting stabbed. Investigators say three of the victims were University of Maryland students, none of whom were old enough to legally be in the bar. 

    The altercation began early Tuesday morning inside the Thirsty Turtle Bar on Route 1, just steps from campus. Police say the five people involved were kicked out, and moments later, one stabbed the other four during a fight. Among the injured: two 19-year-old students and a 20-year-old student, and a 23-year-old, who was not a UMD student. 

    They're all expected to recover, but police say this violence highlights a bigger problem of bars turning a blind eye to underage drinking.

    "The Thirsty Turtle has become an attractive nuisance," said UMD Police Chief Dave Mitchell. "Let's shut it down."

    All the victims and suspects involved in the altercation were drunk, say police -- and this isn't the first time they've been made aware of underage drinking at the Thirsty Turtle. 

    In fact, Mitchell says police have sent underage students into the bar in the past, and although their IDs were checked, they were let in despite their ages.

    "They were asked for their Maryland drivers' licenses, which clearly demonstrated they were under 21," Mitchell said. "It seemed as though those standing at the door, one of whom was the owner, were very interested in taking their money. They were admitted inside."

    Mitchell is now pushing for a liquor board meeting to go after the Thirsty Turtle's license.

    As for the stabbing investigation, police are in the process of interviewing the victims. No arrests have been made, but police are looking for a suspect.