Pawtucket nightclub remains temporarily closed after shooting

Blackstone Valley

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Pawtucket nightclub will remain temporarily closed after a shooting early Friday morning.

At an emergency meeting of the Pawtucket City Council on Saturday, councilors decided to keep club Vibe Lounge closed until a full meeting of the council next month.

“Due to the ongoing circumstances, what we feel is a public nuisance and an ongoing public welfare matter,” Pawtucket Solicitor Frank Milos said.

According to police, this is the fifth violent incident at Vibe Lounge and Hookah bar since February and third incident they’ve responded to this month.

On Friday, Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves declared the Broad Street business “a public nuisance,” and noted the club has also violated several of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“The city and police department always prioritize working with our local businesses to help them succeed in a safe environment,” Goncalves said. “In this particular case, the business is directly affecting the surrounding neighborhood, and placing the public safety of our community in jeopardy.”

“As long as they are closed, the residents in that area and citizens of Pawtucket is still safe,” City Councilor Dave Moran said.

The city council were in favor of ordering the club to close until the council hearing, but defense attorney Peter Petrarca said his client will voluntarily close until then.

The hearing was slated for Thursday, but will be delayed so Petrarca can fully review the case to prepare a defense.

“I will sign whatever consent document is necessary that Vibe Lounge will remain closed until there is a hearing and decision by the Board of Licenses or some sort of appeal by DBR,” Petrarca said.

The city said it will be pushing to take away the club’s Class B liquor license. The full council hearing is scheduled for May 11 at 6 p.m.

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