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Rhino Club owner says his bar not the problem downtown

READ MORE: Rhino Club owner says his bar not the problem downtown

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Three throwdowns downtown over the weekend have Wilmington Police busy. Cops continue to investigate fights that left three people bloodied and battered. One of the fights was inside City Limits Saloon. The other two were outside the Rhino Club and Side Bar. Now the Rhino's owner is defending his club.

Wilmington's downtown bar scene has been known to get a little out of hand at times, and that was the case this weekend. Brandin Roberts, a Marine visiting from Jacksonville this weekend, was cut several times on his face with a razor blade after he left the bars. The incident happened near a parking lot on Market Street, right next to the Rhino Club. Sean Tobin owns the bar at 125 Market Street.

Tobin feels he's also now a victim of these incidents, saying he's received bad media coverage because of incidents that happen around his club and not inside his club. Tobin would not go on camera with WWAY, but said, "What I want to know is why my club is being targeted? I'm going to be straight forward with you and ask if it has anything to do with us having black customers. The comments on your website make references to thugs and fights happening inside my bar, but this fight did not happen inside my bar. I've done everything in my power to protect my customers. WWAY is targeting my bar for whatever reason, and it's not fair."

Tobin denies his club is the problem, but police reports his address as the site of the slashing and other crimes over the last several months. Tobin says he's done everything he can to protect his customers by increasing security and adding new cameras and lights. Wilmington Police say Tobin has fully cooperated with the downtown task force when asked to make changes to his bar for the safety of customers and others in the area.

Wilmington police say the fights this weekend were very violent acts of crime, that tend to happen when people are heavily intoxicated.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Metal Detection Wands....

It seems to me that in order for Clubs and Bars to deal with the Liability of people cutting and shooting each other outside YOUR ESTABLISHMENT after they leave... is to have metal detecting wands for the Security Folks to use.... if you have a weapon.... it is confiscated before entry, or there is no admittance.....
You cant control the thugs outside your door... but you sure as hell can control those who come in.
If enough clubs do that..... people will not bring weapons into clubs.... if they want to be a customer and have fun.
Just my 2 Cents!

Good thought; but tell me

what does the Security Person do when someone armed refuses to turn over his piece -- and let's face it no one in their right mind will relinquish a firearm or serious knife to someone unknown? Do you allow the person to enter or face the possibility that you the security person may face the weapon if you deny entry.

Now add cattle prods to metal detector wands and you may have something there.

But sooner or later, this club will lose its liability insurance and the building owner will face a daunting challenge.

Maybe that's the route to go. Put the pressure on the building owner to control what happens there. The only problem will be if the building owner and club operator are one and the same.

Another option might be to bring the Big Cats over from Trbenko's Zoo and allow them to begin street patrol 15 minutes after the club closes. Addresses several issues.

Another Back Seat Driver

To: SurfCityTom, I've read all your posts throughout the site and I'm glad to see you are still complaining about stuff that you will never do anything about. This is a big problem downtown and it needs to be addressed with serious solutions, and not with advice from someone who obviously doesn't know anything about the bar and restaurant industry. Releasing cats from a zoo (although a joke), tells me you dont have any real solutions, you just like to sit in the safety of your home and comment on people and things that have nothing to do with you. You are a true patriotic blogging hero, and I can't wait to read your advice on solving the recession and world peace. They are both big problems that might require something bigger than cats though. This fight happened in the parking lot across the street where their cars are. I'm no expert like SCT, but if I had to guess, that's probably where the weapons came from. Does it matter where their drinking? I imagine people are drinking and doing drugs their too, so if SCT wants to patrol that area, I bet it would help with the problem and then maybe he can get on the real news instead of a chat room.

people should keep the piece

people should keep the piece we shouldnt have to shut the bars down for stupid none sense people the one who is causing the promblem dont allow theme to go back in the clubs there is favortisim at rhinos though if u dont f**k the bouncer u ant getting in


There won't be any clubs left in about a year ALE is in the process of shutting them all down. But as far as Rhino being a drug environment....I don't know how much truth there is to that, wouldn't be surprised though my friend used to work for Rox and the owner would sell any drugs to the employees or anyone for that matter that were confiscated by the security guards in the searches done before anyone could go in

Your not being targeted dude.

I've never been to The Rhino Club, although from what I've heard and read it attracts troublemakers, "thugs" if you wanna call them. The same problem happens across the street at Rox Nightclub, same type of troublemakers. City Limits has had a few fights here and there, over the past 2 years as well. But it seems that the concentration of fights happen in that area of Market Street where Rox and The Rhino Club is at.. am I wrong??? I use to be a frequent Rox member, so much I had VIP status. Once the thugs and the fights became more frequent, I stopped going.

How does the Rhino Club's

How does the Rhino Club's owner feel he is being "targeted"? This very article states that a fight occured at "City Limits" as well as two outside "Rhino"... Several weeks ago fight incident at the Slice of Life location was reported.

Fights do happen in large crowds of heavily intoxicated people as the police statement concluding the article says.

In fairness to Mr. Tobin and his venue it is good to see that the police have commented positively on his efforts to adopt safety measures for his patrons and the public.

Maybe the problem isn't with the establishment owner at all. The problem is excessive regulation by municipal authorities. If there weren't a mandatory 2am shut down of all establishments there wouldn't be a massive introduction of heavily intoxicated folks onto the downtown sidewalks (and streets and highways).

Let the owners decide how late they desire their establishments should remain open and serving. The patrons will get tired and want to go home sometime.

Commissions, authorities, boards and organizations have not solved the problem. Give the free market and the inherent good sense of the people a chance to solve this problem. Why not try it, it could work.

If the shoe fits.......

I am really amazed at all of the controversy concerning this PROBLEMATIC club. There are over 50 other places downtown that have a liqour licensce and somehow manage to not be on the news every week for stabbings, fights, disturbances, etc. When will people understand that it is the club that is ultimately responsible for the patrons inside and outside of their establishment. Why are there no problems at Circa, or the Whiskey Bar,or the numerous other bars and restraunts, they are in a more centralized location, and definately see more foot traffic, it is because they do not cater to a clientele that causes repeated problems. Whether that clientele be black, white, mexican, whatever. CLOSE DOWN THE REPEAT OFFENDERS and you will be amazed at how much better and SAFER downtown will be. This is not a coincedence with THE RHINO club, it is a pattern.

If there has been multiple

If there has been multiple incidents at this area and outside of this bar, then yeah I think it is his problem he should be getting bad media, He needs to put some security outside of the bar to break up any possible problems, Beer and stupid people dont mix, and as far as the "black comment" come on why does everything have to turn to a race issue

Shut the bars down at 1:00

Shut the bars down at 1:00 AM.


thank grandpa.


Where are the police when all these fights are going on? Bar owners can't control fools on the streets but the police can. Why not go to the Marines and get some MP's or SP's here to control their people. I know in the past some bar owners let things slide but you can't do that now and the ones who coooperate should not be the ones hurt when other owners continue to let things slide. They need to bust some heads and lock up the fools who cause trouble so others can have a good times safely.

Have you ever looked

Have you ever looked downtown at the ratio of cops to citizens? You have MAYBE 10 to 15 cops downtown on a weekend night, and probably between 3,000 and 5,000 people down there, how much can they possibly do?

My thing is how can they

My thing is how can they consistently keep putting the name of a club on the incident report when the fights were not on that certain clubs property.. Maybe if the wilmington police department would patrol in front of the clubs instead of all standing on one corner talking and waiting for something to happen. Maybe we should attempt to stop the problem before it gets escalated. Come on wpd lets help ourselves instead of being lazy and then putting it on the local bar owners..

it's not just one place...

The entire downtown area has been allowed to be taken over by drunk kids, college students and street thugs. I would not say it's one bar in particular, but an accumulation of too many bars in one small area with the drinking going on in all of them. These underage drinkers and college students are out for fun only. They don't understand the repercussions of their behavior when drinking. They do not care as long as it's wild and fun. The thugs show up to prey on these kids and show how tough they are and in general, are looking for someone to start trouble with. That's their mentality and all they know.

"out for fun"

what do you go out for...bad times & sorrow?

so sad

No Sean, your club isn't targeted because you have black customers. It is targeted because you welcome customers that can't behave in public, like thugs and punks. You are correct, your bar isn't "the" problem with downtown but it most certainly is one of the larger problems.

club is the problem,and so are ur workers

i was there at the rhinos sat night .. and when the plan was being set up .. it was over someone breaking into someones house and they seen each other that night at the club.. and when the fight was about to go down inside the club they asked them to leave well they left atleast 3 of them did but there where still a couple left inside.. and said that they where going to wait until they come out the club and that they where going to get them .. and the people u have there working for u are un fair ... its not right for someone to pay there money and have to wait in line for almost 2 hours and still not be able to get in the club and then there s**t out of luck and cant get there money back i think the place should be shut down to many drugs and gang members involved

If the club is the problem

If the club is the problem then why are you in that club?? Seems like you might be in the same category as everyone else is that goes there.. And the one in one out line is bc of fire code.. If you have a problem with the line then maybe you shouldnt pay your money to go in. How in the world are 3 to 4 staff memebers working the door and on the pation suppose to control a crowd of 50 to 100 people leaving DIFFERENT clubs.. And the Lt of the police department say his cops are "scared for their life when they work down there" haha this is a joke.. Once again i believe the wilmington police department needs to stop being so lazy and actually patrol in front of these clubs instead of letting the fight start and then breaking it up..and how can you say that the owner lets people in that dont know how to behave?!? You can say that about every bar downtown that has a fight.. Level 5, good fellas, olive or twist, liquid room.. The list goes on.. All in all this just comes back to the lack of law enforcement we have patroling the streets downtown

The whole downtown area

The whole downtown area should have a 9 PM curfew. No decent person would be caught in downtown Wilmington after that time anyhow.