Thursday, October 8, 2009

DCPD On Sex Club Death: "Not Yet" a Homicide; Looking to Shut Down Club

EDIT (10/8/09): NBC4 did a story on yesterday's newscast about the club, which has now been identified as both a "gay sex club" and a "men's social club". ANC2F Chairman Charles Reed has also indicated that he would like to see the operation shut down.

EDIT: Amanda Hess over at the City Paper has more information about the investigation into the man's death.

At this evening's ANC2F meeting, DCPD PSA307 Lt. Vanessa Moore was questioned about the recent death of a man inside the sex club located at 1618 14th Street, and a few new details emerged.

It seems that a 47 year old white male was found at the bottom of a staircase in the building, possibly with a broken neck. Moore indicated that the circumstances of his death, or even the cause of death, remain unclear, and that the police were not yet ready to rule as to whether or not the death was a homicide. Lt. Moore did indicate that the police were looking into allegations of illicit drug use at the club, which is unlicensed and operating as a nonprofit.

Although professing to know next to nothing about the operation or its history, she did indicate that the DCPD was working with DCRA to "shut the club down." At 14thandyou, we question how sincere the District is at looking into the operations of the club. A fire at the club in 2005 raised similar questions about the legality of its operations, although to our knowledge nothing against the club was ever pursued.


Anonymous said...

Here are the facts:

1. The club charges an admission, no one comes there and "donates" to defray the cost of chips, dip and soda. It's understood you pay to play. The place is a business whether you cal it a club or not.

2. Activities are not limited to "late night" sex parties. It generally opens at 8 and true, does close at 4 am. Sundays it opens at 4pm

3. There honestly hasn't been much of a problem in the neighborhood because of the club. Look, people want to be discreet about coming in here, same as they would the Crew Club. There are more problems associated with a rise in crime that are real!

4. The stairway the man apparently fell down is very steep and dangerous. Someone should be held liable.

5. Why the interest in closing down the place now? If there is some real legal basis, fine do it, but does it take a death to enforce the laws?

6. Where is the owner in all of this? Someone should ask Mr. Jaffee about the conditions or issues raised. This wealthy Potomac, MD businessman and real estate speculator also ran the laundry at 14 and Q a block away. Same run down condition there, and now its closed and he's trying to cash in on the rising fortunes of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, when I was young and unemployed, I sometimes visited the club when it was on Florida Avenue and I did not pay any donation.

The staircase in question was not open for several years until the fire occcured. After the fire, many changes were made to the interior, including opening that second set of stairs. Those stairs are are indeed very treacherous and it was only a matter of time before someone hurt themselves. Perhaps it would have been better to make the steps one-way, i.e. only up to the main floor.

Number 3 is the key point. It should be allowed to continue so long as changes are made to foster safety.

Incidentally, I know someone who died after supposedly falling down the steep steps at Mr. P's. Remember those? I don't think anyone demanded that Mr. P's close after that incident, though it ultimately closed for other reaosn.