DOWNTOWN VIOLENCE: Rhino Club owner refuses interview opportunity to talk about murder outside his club

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Submitted: Tue, 01/25/2011 - 12:01am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The first metro murder of the year happened right outside the Rhino Club late Sunday night. And according to Wilmington Police, the man murdered had just exited the club minutes before.

It’s not the first time The Rhino Club has been at the center of a fight or some other type of violence. So we called owner Sean Tobin and invited him on our 5:30 newscast to talk live and unedited about the history of his club and what happened last night.

He told us that because of the “slanted” way we’ve covered the club in the past, he would never talk with us.

“I challenge anyone, including Mr. Tobin, to search our web site for stories on the Rhino Club and find any bias or slant,” said WWAY News Director Scott Pickey. “He may not like the “way” we’ve covered his club, or the “number of stories” we’ve done on the fights and meyhem that continuously happens outside his club, but he will not find anything other than facts in our reporting.”

According to Wilmington Police, they’ve been called to the Rhino Club almost 200 times in the last three years.


  • Guest76 says:

    Key word here – outside!
    If this had happen outside of a church would we want to close it down???

  • Guest says:

    depends on which church. the club is partly responsible. Look into what was going on inside the club before the stabbing

  • Guest says:

    How many drunken brawls and murders take place right outside of a church? How many churches have the cops called to them 200 times in a year?
    How many clubs like the Rhino club exist to help the community? How many clubs like the Rhino club exist to try and uplift people? Do people go to the Rhino club to find peace or hope?
    In answer to your question, if this happened right outside of a church that had had the police called to it 200 times in one year, had numerous bloody fights inside/outside of it and now a murder committed in some relation to it, then yes because I say there is something very wrong going on inside that church!

  • NHC Voter says:


  • SurfCityTom says:

    another weasel can not read. In a lawsuit, any half wit attorney will name any and every party who might possibly have been involved in the incident or might have prevented it.

    That means the club owner, the building owner, the city, the Mayor, the City Council, the Police, probably some cab driver; you name it, attorneys will include it as a party to the lawsuit.

    Let’s see how long it takes the deceased’s family to see an attorney.

    Did you see the news last week about the woman who fell into a mall fountain while texting? Her first interview after the incident and she mentioned attorney.

    They are everywhere.

  • GuestLee says:

    Sounds like you’re reaching for straws. Anyone can name anyone in a lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean they will win…or that it’s right.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    for straws. What happens when you are named as a party in a lawsuit and someone seeks money from you?

    You may spend thousands over several years to have your name removed from the lawsuit.

    Never said it was right.

    But that’s reality.

  • Don Patrick says:

    Yes Mr. Pickey, you obviously portray certain clubs in a bad light and do slant many facts. The fight did not happen in front of the Rhino, it occured across the street, as I was present downtown at the time. Also how your arrogance baffles me, to make a statment as the leader of a journalistic outlet that says it has no discrimination. Have you seen your poll question for the day sir? What people do outside on a street does not reflect upon a club, its ownership, its behaved patrons or its staff.

  • Scott Pickey says:

    Mr. Patrick:

    The information regarding the location of the fight came from the Wilmington Police Department. Again – that’s an attributable fact – not a slant.

    The poll is not discriminatory either. WPD says it’s been called almost 200 times to the Rhino Club over the past 3 years. It only asks a question – since the victims were in the club just minutes before the stabbings.

    Thanks for using our website – and for taking the time to leave a comment.

    Scott Pickey
    News Director

  • Guest says:

    I understand that 200 calls over 3 years sounds like a high number but compared to what? I’d be interested to see how many times police are called to other clubs / bars in the area. Also, if my math is correct, this means that the police are called approximately every 5.5 days. Accounting for days the club is closed I’d guess that this amounts to roughly once a week. I don’t know about you but I don’t think this sounds like a horrendous number. I’d easily see ANY bar calling the police once a week for some belligerently drunk person who is causing a ruckus. I worked for the city public pools and it was nothing to call the police more than once a week. Using your logic and assessing the danger of a given location by the number of times the police are called, I ask should we close the city pools down as well?

  • Elizabeth says:

    If I lock my keys inside my car and I just so happened to have parked outside the Rhino Club and I called the police to help the situation; that’s included in 200 times WPD has been called to the Rhino Club, am I correct?

  • Guest says:

    Don Patrick works at the Rhino. So if we’re talking about slants and bias here, I feel like that should be mentioned.

  • Guest says:

    Well then since Don Patrick works at the Rhino then he must have been present at the time of the incident and would therefore be able to tell the actual facts. As a matter of fact since he works there then he has probably been there for any incident that happened at Club Rhino and so he knows the facts from the fiction spread by WWAY.

  • Guest says:

    It is people and places like these that prohibits downtown Wilmington from being a beautiful, fun, and SAFE place to go. I have never been to Club Rhino, and can promise that I, nor any of my friends would ever step foot in there. Only because it is apparent that the only thing people want to do there is fight. If people would feel more safe going downtown at night if Club Rhino were not in existance, please post your feelings and I will try and get the ball rolling. I will keep my name anonymous, but I may be able to pull a string or two.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    no rational thinking person would come live on the telly without an attorney and limits on the questions to be asked. Can anyone say lawsuit? Ultimately, it may be the loss of insurance which will bring some closure to this.

    Why not get the head of the local ABC commission in and let him face the questions concerning licensing for establishments with the frequency of incidents found here?

    Get the Mayor and Chief in and hold their feet to the fire.

    On another note, why not get the head of WHA in for some questioning about the post stabbing shooting incidents at Creekwood and what he proposes WHA can do to weed out the undesireable element in public housing? It has not been that long ago, this website carried interviews with individuals seeking public housing who refused to move into the “projects” because they did not like the vibes but insisted on housing vouchers.

    Yeah; start really being live, local and interactive. Hold the bureaucrats and elected officials accountable.

  • GuestLee says:

    Let’s see now…it sounds like you are blaming the Mayor, the Police Chief, the ABC Board, and WHA. You have to put the blame where it beongs….square on the shoulders of the kids who did the violence and who should be held accountable for their own behavior. And, yes, maybe even on some of the parents of these kids for not taking the time to get involved and find out what their kids are up to. You can’t just blame “the government” and expect people to swallow it.

  • Guest says:

    I have been in or around the bar/club business most my life. What many people don’t realize is that bartenders and club owners are responsible for what happens if they served someone to and beyond intoxication. At a club I worked for in NC, the bartender and owners were sued by a man who got drunk there, and then was hit by a car after while crossing the street. He won the suit!

    Rhino is responsible. On a side note, they have been knowingly serving underage people for a while despite being told, so it is no wonder the violence. If they don’t care about age then they certainly don’t care amount drink limits. It’s all about money making until it is time to take responsibility.

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