Harris County has temporarily closed an unlicensed Midtown club the authorities say was the scene of many crimes, including a murder.
Vince Ryan, the county attorney, sued Club Life for selling alcohol without a state license and secured a temporary restraining order on Monday. Judge Sylvia Matthews scheduled a hearing on March 30 to determine the long-term fate of the club.
"Club Life is a danger to the patrons, employees, residents living nearby and to law enforcement," Ryan said in a statement Thursday morning. "The frequent assaults and liquor violations result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries that harm the public."
The lawsuit names as defendants the club (under its business name Vanderbilt Group); promotional company Sticky Promotions; club employees Alisha Guerrero-McLemore, Lauren Correa and Nathan Gerk; and property owner Ben Wah Property.
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A call to the club Thursday morning went unanswered.
Ryan said the club has been the site of numerous crimes by patrons and staff in the past two years. The most serious incident occurred on December 30, when an argument escalated to a gunfight during which rapper Kionn Lamothe, 25, was killed and two others were wounded. Police recovered 30 shell casings at the scene.
According to court papers, other incidents at the club include:
- In May 2016, a bouncer punched an unruly patron, breaking his jaw.
- In July 2016, a patron complained a Club Life bouncer threatened him with a gun.
- In July 2016, a DJ was assaulted and needed staples in his head.
- In August 2016, a patron was assaulted and had his teeth broken.
- In August 2016, an employee was assaulted by a bouncer.
- In August 2016, an underage woman said she blacked out after accepting a drink from a man at the club. The woman woke up in a field across from the club wearing only a bra.
- In August 2016, a patron was struck over the head with a liquor bottle and had his wallet stolen.
- In October 2016, an employee was stabbed while breaking up a fight.
- In January and February of this year, police arrested Club Life bartenders for selling alcohol without a license.
Ryan said the action against Club Life is part of a broader effort by the county attorney to target nuisance businesses in Harris County such as game rooms, spas and other magnets for illegal activity.