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Security Measures Reexamined After Man Killed Outside Heritage India Restaurant And Club In Dupont Circle, DC

8:16 PM, Nov 28, 2011   |    comments
Jhonte Coleman
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- There are still no arrests in a fatal shooting outside a Dupont Circle restaurant and club.

Thirty-four-year-old Jhonte Coleman of Suitland, Md. is one of three people who were shot outside of the Heritage India restaurant early Sunday morning.  Another three people were stabbed along Connecticut Avenue near N Street.

Police say there was a fight inside the club and security at the club tried to close it and force people out onto the street. The altercation then spilled out on to the sidewalk, say police.

The restaurant is closed while police investigate further. The police chief is allowed to keep the restaurant closed for 90 plus hours while conducting the investigation. Monday, police officers collected surveillance video from other restaurants to see what may have been captured from the weekend's sidewalk violence. Police have no suspects so far.

If Heritage India is reopened with a liquor license, the owner may have to agree to outside police presence which he will have to pay for.

The violence is prompting owners, the city and police to re-examine what goes on when eating establishments turn into nightclubs on weekends. Restaurants can rake in thousands more in revenue if if they become clubs at night, but many people say you need the proper security.

Curtis Thornton of Bistro Bistro said, "Really, the D.C. government should foot the bill and have police officers either in these establishments or close to these establishments."

Thornton's restaurant turns into a club on weekends. He said, "Security personnel in clubs are not police officers. They still can get assault charges and they still can get seriously injured without the proper weapons and tools."

DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson says that in other parts of the city businesses do pay for extra police patrols on the outside of their establishments. He said that may have to be what happens at Heritage India.

Heritage India has had problems before and some people are quietly questioning why the establishment continues to have a liquor license. Mendelson says under no circumstances will he introduce legislation that would permit D.C. police officers to start working off duty inside such establishments on patrol.

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