Fights, Shootings, & A Bust

Police found two men shot in the back and crowds engaged in up to four floating fights outside a downtown nightclub. And that was only some of the mayhem taking place in the club district this weekend.

The shooting took place—surprise—in the courtyard behind Pulse nightclub at 956 Chapel St. across from the Green, right around closing time early Saturday.

The crowd was leaving a hip-hop party at the club.

(Click here, here, here, and here for some past stories about problems at or outside the club.)

Meanwhile, Officer Roy Davis led a team of officers to a club called Exhibit X (formerly known as Center Street Lounge) at 29 Center St. at 12:30 a.m. Sunday. They weren’t there to order drinks. They were there to check IDs. They found eight under-aged patrons there, three of them high school students (Amity), the rest college-aged. Officers inspected the same joint on Sept. 6 and found six under-aged bar-goers there.

Also early Sunday, someone shot a gun around College Street between Crown and George at 2:06 a.m., as bars were letting out. Cops chased the 25-year-old alleged gunman through a parking lot, arrested him and recovered the handgun, police said. No one was reported hit by the gunfire. The incident took place a block from the spot where this mess occurred.

As for what happened with the early Saturday shooting, police spokesman Officer David Hartman issued a release with this description:

“As Officers arrived, many in the crowd scattered. Some ran toward the front of the Omni Hotel, where a second fight broke out. Officers made a few arrests and had just secured two arrestees in the prisoner transport wagon, when, at 2:13 AM, gunfire rang out around the corner at Church and Crown Streets in front of Gateway College.

“Two men were shot. Timothy Charles, 24, of Hamden was shot in his right hand. Kirt Swan, 21, of New Haven, was shot in his upper back. Both men were taken by ambulance to Yale – New Haven Hospital, where they received treatment for their non-life threatening injuries.

“Both victims told Police they had been patrons at Pulse Nightclub.

“Just before the gunfire, an altercation occurred between approximately a dozen people on the south sidewalk of Crown Street between Crown and Temple Streets. Police obtained evidence that both victims were involved in that altercation.

“Detectives are investigating the possibility that a fourth altercation had simultaneously occurred just down the street at Church and Crown Streets. The gunshot wound victims denied any involvement with the altercation that resulted in the gunfire.

“After being shot, both victims ran across the intersection to a group of club security associates working at Empire Nightclub. The security staff was helpful to Police in clearing out a growing crowd of on-lookers as EMTs arrived to render aid to the victims.

“In the immediate wake of the shooting, several peoples who’d fled the area were detained for a brief time as Officers obtained witness’ descriptions of a suspect. All were subsequently released.

“This string of violent incidents, one that left two men wounded by gunfire, is an inexcusable occurrence. Violence to this degree is not typical, but when it occurs in New Haven, it is almost always stems from a venue that had promoted a Hip-Hop event.

“Detectives from the department’s Major Crimes Division, Bureau of Identification and Office of Information Technology ar investigating this case.

“Any one who has information or who was a witness to the shootings or the fights leading up to them, are urged to speak with investigators by calling 203-946-6304. Calls may be made anonymously.”

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posted by: Citizen X on September 14, 2013  11:00pm

I’d recommend that the government claim imminent domain on the lawn of the owner of the club’s home and hold such an event twice a week.

posted by: Trustme on September 15, 2013  9:38am

Of course, both victims were at pulse, what a suprise? Clubs like Pulse and Lazy Lizard have to go and leave new Haven. i love hip hop, but i will never go with my friends to a hip hop club and will not think about taking my girlfriend to downtown neither.  Most of these gunshot victims are far from innocent, they flash gang signs and gun gestures were their hands inside these hip hop clubs throughout the night and the bouncers allow it, which they perfectly know what it means.  Club security should cut off the nonsense quickly before emotions escalate. these clubs should be completely responsible for allowing such nasty behavior, some people are actually trying to enjoy their nights. Actually there were gunshots last night in downtown AGAIN. New Haven used to be such a great place to go out and have fun, and it would get so packed with people. Now more than half of the establishments in New Haven are empty because of the violence, people don’t want to go to have fun when some idiots don’t have any regards for human life.

posted by: HewNaven on September 15, 2013  11:54am

I really long for the days when hip-hop was associated with positive messages and was a respectable art form. We went from block parties to clubs and no one is turning back. Hip-Hop is dead. What passes for hip-hop now has little resemblance to the original format. Revive it, or bury it. Don’t drag the corpse through the mud and claim that you’re honoring the body.

posted by: zulu143 on September 15, 2013  12:28pm

How about declaring a downtown “Stop and Frisk” zone between State St, York St, Elm St and George St.

This has had good success in NYC. Although there are some justified concerns about racial profiling and constitutional violations in New York, you get around that by announcing, in advance, that there will be random weapons searches conducted in this area during these times. This is the same procedure that makes sobriety checkpoints legal in Connecticut.

Then police must actually aggressively enforce this (at least initially) until the message is received that NO GUNS ARE ALLOWED in downtown New Haven.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on September 15, 2013  2:24pm

The clubs bring money to the city, they also encourage next generations to actually go to downtown New Haven for the night life. So the general poll is a hard one to answer. I think we need more cops, but I think that the club owners need to foot the bill, or at least a part of it. Maybe they can hirer more security to be out side the club area. I also think that some events bring in a younger crowd. I think club owners need to be more responsible with who their target customers will be with certain events.

posted by: CreatingUrgency on September 15, 2013  2:44pm

Why not try to do something about poverty and gangs?  Trustme is right. If gang signs are allowed, then gang members will feel free to show up.

Things need to change in the communities. Shootings must be declared unacceptable by the boots on the street community members…not by outside “cops” and “activists” and “lawyers”.

Bring back the good old days of fist fights to sort out “manly” things. A good rumble once a year.

Why not get the gangs to set up “gang olympics”. They can match their wits and physical prowess on the court not on the streets. See who the real (wo)men are.

Chess should definitely be a gang olympics sport.

posted by: Brutus2011 on September 15, 2013  3:26pm

Make it abundantly clear to these young adults that weapons are forbidden. Period.

And back this public policy up with diligent and vigilant enforcement.

I sick to death of kids carrying weapons, getting high or drunk, and then using them.

posted by: Stylo on September 15, 2013  7:00pm

These events keep downtown from flourishing. A few crappy clubs, every time. Shut them down for gross security/safety negligence. If they’re letting people in with weapons regularly, they don’t deserve to stay in business. PERIOD.

If the city is proactive in shutting these places downtown, I guarantee that better businesses will come to fill those spaces at some point - making all of downtown safer and more prosperous.

posted by: formerNhresident on September 15, 2013  10:32pm

Change the age limit from 21 to 25 for men and 23 for the ladies. Obviously, these young men are too immature to handle conflict. You will also attract a more mature crowd that otherwise wouldn’t go to a nightclub.

posted by: DrFeelgood on September 16, 2013  9:31am

They should not allow these ridiculous clubs downtown or even allow hip-hop nights…they are ALWAYS a problem.  Just look at Bar, do they promote any hip-hop nights?  Nope..and they do not have any violence. If they allow these awful clubs to operate downtown in prime locations they should have at least 5 cops outside of it at all times.  No idea why they do not already, it is common sense.

posted by: Stylo on September 16, 2013  12:27pm

@ formerNhresident

The age limits at these clubs are more like 18/19+. It’s just 21+ to drink. And you know they’re not enforcing ID’s.

Make the law 21+ for clubs and better enforce fake ID’s, more cops, more screening and if that doesn’t work - shut them down. Although I’d rather they were just shut down. :)

posted by: jdossgollin on September 16, 2013  1:04pm

I definitely disagree with the people here saying that ALL hip-hop events should be banned. How many of these events are held without any incident?
Further, you’re just pushing the problem. Do you really think that if you ban hip-hop events downtown, the people who are there will just go to bed early instead? They will just hold these events in other places.
If you want to solve these problems, you need to tackle gang violence across the city. If you want to keep downtown safe, you need to have police present. The rules that are already on the books are plenty strict, but they’re not enforced. Before you talk about banning all 18+ events, how about having bouncers actually do security checks at the door? Common sense things like that will actually tackle the problem and let the HUGE MAJORITY of young people who want to enjoy the events peacefully do so—banning the event will push the problem to parts of town where things can get out of hand even faster (no cops), and will alienate our city’s youth even more.