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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) – The NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has issued a "Last Call" summary suspension of the alcohol permits held by Rhino Club 125, Market Street, Wilmington. Sworn affidavits of law enforcement officers describe a pattern of behavior at the Wilmington club that culminated in a fatal stabbing early Monday morning. The recent fatality and past history, including notice to the property owner from the New Hanover District Attorney that the business operated as a nuisance, was recapped in sworn law enforcement statements to the ABC Commission.

"Violence that takes a life and that is part of a demonstrated pattern of violence at a single location prompts quick action by the ABC Commission to suspend alcohol permits immediately," said ABC Chairman Jon Williams, who signed the orders suspending the alcohol permits held by the business.

The summary suspension imposes an immediate suspension of alcohol permits. The action was requested by the Wilmington Police Department and the state’s division of Alcohol Law Enforcement. It is authorized under NC General Statute 150B-3(c), which directs the Commission to begin proceedings on the matter with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

"Our work is not yet done. This is only one of several establishments with a documented history of criminal activity. Today’s action demonstrates the strength of our ongoing work with the ABC Commission and ALE," said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

In April 2010, the State ABC Commission announced Last Call – a cooperative initiative with local law enforcement and ALE — that streamlines the process for suspending alcohol permits of violent bars and clubs. This is the second Last Call summary suspension of 2011 and the 11th issued since October 2009 by the state ABC Commission.

"ALE and the ABC Commission are working together effectively with local law enforcement agencies across the state to address problems of violence," said ALE Director John Ledford.

View the Rhino_Club_Order_of_Summary_Suspension

View the ABC_Commission_Summary_Suspension_Wilmington

Comment on this Story

  • Ray Worrell

    Just to clear things up. The fight did not start at the Slice of Life. I am the owner and have the video from the 16 cameras in my store that proves this. Don’t always belive what your friends say to be facts.

  • Guest

    It blows my mind how oblivious everyone one is being. I, like everyone else was under the impression that the fight started in and outside of the Rhino Club, but after talking to my friends who were dt, I got the real facts. Apparently, the Rhino was already closed and everyone was walking to their cars. The fight started while they were at Slice of Life waiting for pizza. And the stabbing happened in the parking lot next to Slice of Life. My friends said that everyone had come from the Rhino, but when it let out, there was no fight. In fact, in the 6 years I lived Downtown, most of the fights I did see, happened in front of Slice. That’s what happens when thousands of people bottleneck themselves to one location and fight for a slice of pizza at 2:00 AM. The fact is, Wilmington PD are afraid of black people. They can say they’re not and some may not be, but as a whole, they very much are. This became more obvious when the Chief of Police stated that they can not breakup a fight till it happens. WHAT!? It’s called taking preventive measures, and it’s clear that the WPD do not believe in Preventive Measures. I would never call out an agency hired to protect me, but I have to say something when I have been watching fights happen in front of police for years while they do nothing. I hate the fact that its a White/Black thing, but it is. Everyone trying to deny it’s not a race issue, saying it’s a “thug” issue is a bunch of bull. Wilmington has tried to shut down EVERY black club that has existed in Wilmington. If these instances were to happen inside the club, then the club would be dangerous, but when it happens in the streets that the Police are hired to protect. COPS Fault. They were there. They could have stopped the fight before it happened, but they were to scared to get involved until the fight broke out and they were forced to step in. The chief says they’re not allowed to, that’s BS. They dropped the ball on this one.

    PS: 10 police downtown on a weekend. That probably how many Wrightsville Beach uses and they have thousands less to look after.

  • BR

    Should have happened sooner. Now how about Rox? BEFORE someone else gets killed?

  • Jeff Levensailor

    I live downtown, I’m in my twenties, and I go out drinking and let loose almost every weekend. If you don’t think a large crowd of people can get together under one roof, get drunk, and stay out of trouble, check out Blue Post. They card people at the door every night, its always packed with drunk people, and there are never any fights!

    When I walk home I stay away from 2nd and market because of this club. One time on the way back to my apartment, my girlfriend and I stopped in to get some pizza at princess pizza on princess and 2nd (one block over) and saw a large crowd of people walking towards 2nd and market yelling. Soon after, gunshots were fired and someone was shot. (We had to hide out in the bathroom) This wasn’t the first time, and after looking online about the club, I found out someone was stabbed in the back a few weeks earlier!

    City Limits did the smart thing and hired cops to stand guard outside!

    The problem doesn’t seem to be with people consuming alcohol, but mentality of certain people. I’m not sure you can stop this, but at least now that this club is shut down, I won’t be scared walking home.

  • Guest1

    This is a good first step. Thug club will finally close because it can’t sell alcohol, which is the primary thing people go to clubs for. It won’t stop the problem, however. The thugs will just go to other, more respectable bars and cause havoc there. Until we get the thugs off the streets, it will always be an issue.

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