Crime: Thirsty Turtle liquor license revoked; bar was site of October quadruple stabbing
A College Park bar with a rocky history will lose its liquor license later this month for admitting underage drinkers, Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners decided Wednesday night.
The three-year-old bar, the Thirsty Turtle, was the site of a fight in early October that resulted in four young men suffering stab wounds. But the decision by the license commissioners was the result of a separate incident from September involving underage drinkers, student newspaper The Diamondback first reported.
In an interview, chairman Franklin Jackson cited the bar's prior license violations as his rationale.
The hearing in Hyattsville last night stemmed from a September incident where two underage police aides successfully entered the Thirsty Turtle and were served beer. The students were sent by county liquor inspector John McGorty and University of Maryland, College Park Police to review the bar's admission policy.
At the hearing, the students recounted their experiences at the bar, and the bar's owners, Alan Wanuck and Tom Hall, described the incident as a "sting operation," The Diamondback reported. Jordan Reid, the bouncer who allowed them in, said it was a "lapse of judgment."
Wanuck also said the bouncer had been let go, and they implemented new security, like ID scanners in light of the incident.
But the commissioners were not swayed by their statements, and after two hours of testimony, they decided to unanimously suspend the bar's liquor license.
The decision won't be made final until November 23, when commissioners mail a letter with their final statement and reasoning.
In a separate interview, Jackson said the decision was based on the September incident, not the stabbing. However, he also noted the bar had been cited before.
The Thirsty Turtle had been fined twice before by the liquor board, most recently in 2009, for serving an underage drinker. In October, the bar upset local law enforcement after four young men, including three under the age of 21, were stabbed outside the bar.
"Our process is that we have a case before us, and we make our decision based on that case, which is what we did last night," Jackson said.
Meanwhile, DC9, the U street bar where a Silver Spring man was killed after a fight with the club's employees, will remain closed for the next month.
Lawyers for the club said their employees made a "citizen's arrest" when they tackled Ali Ahmed Mohammed on October 15.
But the Alcoholic Beverage Control board decided the bar was still an "imminent danger" and its liquor license would stay suspended until the end of the month, when the board meets again.