DOWNTOWN VIOLENCE: ABC Commission shuts down Rhino Club (summary suspension documents attached)
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.