PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Federal Hill nightclub near which a murder took place last month will remain closed until next week, as the city’s licensing board awaits surveillance video from inside the club.
The Providence Board of Licenses voted to continue a show-cause hearing about Club Seven’s future until next Wednesday, leaving the club shuttered in the meantime.
Police testified at the hearing that they have issued a search warrant to Cox Communications for surveillance video inside the club, because the owner did not have the password for the video system maintained by Cox.
Police said they do have video from outside the club, and from other nearby businesses, that show murder victim Stephen Cabral and up to 15 people involved in a disturbance in the area of Spruce and Acorn Streets, ending in the parking lot of the Walgreens on Atwells Avenue.
That’s where Cabral, 28, was found on the ground with stab wounds on June 30. He died of his injuries.
Cabral’s friends and family held up photos of him, tears sometimes streaming down their faces, as the licensing board heard testimony from two police detectives about the night of the alleged murder.
Four suspects have been arrested and charged with murder: brothers Jaquontee Reels-Felder and Sequoya Reels-Felder, Daniel Garcia and Dayquon Stevens. Police have identified four other suspects who are not yet in custody.
Detective Theodore Michael said police have not yet recovered a weapon.
The issue before the licensing board is whether Club Seven, where police say both the victim and suspects were patrons prior to the fight, violated its business licenses granted by the city by allowing the club to become disorderly.
The city’s police chief, Col. Hugh Clements, has said he wants the club shut down permanently.
“This is unacceptable,” Clements said last week. “Should not be tolerated and we’re prepared to make a case for revocation on this club. Permanent closure.”
Anthony Luisi, the club’s owner, muttered “bull****” as he left the hearing after the board voted to keep the nightclub shuttered for another week. He told WPRI 12 he has lost about $50,000 since the club was temporarily closed last month, and he anticipates losing a total of $100,000 if it stays closed.
The club’s attorney, Nick Hemond, said he’s considering appealing the temporary closure to the Department of Business Regulation.
“They don’t have the evidence to connect my client’s establishment to the tragedy that occurred,” Hemond said. He said a manager who no longer works at the club had the password to the indoor video system.
“Just by virtue of being a patron of a place does not make the place liable for the crimes of those patrons once they leave,” Hemond said.
Seven had a previous violation dismissed by the board in May, after a shooting took place outside the club. In that case, the board did not find evidence of a link between the shooting and club.