A surge in assaults in Bay Ridge has police promising a crackdown on local clubs who flout the law — and are ultimately responsible for the violence.
“The fighting is happening in or near bars,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct. “It’s their responsibility to control it and it is not something we are going to tolerate.”
According to Rodriguez, there have been 44 assaults in the precinct, up from 32 last year, and the bars are a major reason for the increase.
“Last month there were five assaults in one bar,” said Rodriguez of the club F1 on 65th Street near Eighth Avenue.
F1 has been issued a flurry of violations in recent weeks, including underage drinking and disorderly premises, and residents living near it have complained to Community Board 10 about noise and fighting. Members of CB10 had opposed the liquor license applications by the owners, because they felt the club would appeal to the under-21 crowd thanks to its other draws: arcade games and dancing.
Rodriguez added that bars that mix the 18- to 20-year-old crowd in with the over-21 group are also problematic, pointing out that police have locked up underage people who were intoxicated and still being served.
Noise emanating from bars is another problem the precinct will tackle. Specifically, there have been ongoing complaints about the Water Grill, at Third Avenue and 71st Street.
“In May, music was so loud, it was actually shaking the block,” said Rodriguez.
Since then Water Grill has received violations for noise, as well as underage drinking, Rodriguez said.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, the precinct has brought bar owners in and reminded them of the rules governing nightlife establishments in New York City, Rodriguez said.
“They have a right to run a business, but we expect them to do it with respect for the community,” Rodriguez stressed.
“We’re going to continue keeping the pressure on them until they conform.”
By press time, the owners of the Water Grill and F1 did not return calls for comment.