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December 1, 2010

Is downtown nightlife still safe?

On Tuesday morning, a man and a woman were shot downtown, near The Block, on the 400 block of Water Street.  The double shooting was the third violent incident in the area since Saturday.

This morning, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, dismissed safety concerns about the area. 

"This is an isolated, targeted incident," he said. "The suspect and [male] victim had some issue with each other, and we're trying to find out what that is."

But as Crime Beat has reported, the double shooting comes after a police officer was wounded Saturday during an altercation with an armed man on North Calvert and East Baltimore streets. And, another man was stabbed later that day at Light and Lombard streets. 

There were two other unrelated killings downtown earlier this year - one at a Baltimore Street hookah bar and another on Light Street after a security guard tried to break up an argument.

The double shooting also happened near Market Place, where a 22-year-old man was stabbed several times in September.

Except for the stabbing at Light and Lombard streets, all these incidents happened after or around the time that bars in the area and Inner Harbor closed. 

In this morning's story, J. Kirby Fowler Jr., president of the Downtown Partnership, said the violence was relegated to the area near and around The Block, the hub of strip clubs. And it fell to business owners in the area to pay for more late-night police.  

"Last year, the partnership persuaded four clubs to pay for overtime police coverage, and, as a result, the amount of violent crime on The Block has fallen," he said. "More clubs must do the same."

So, who's right? Police are suggesting security downtown has improved, and that this most recent shooting was an isolated incident. But do you feel more safe there?  Or should businesses foot the bill for more police coverage?

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Posted by Erik Maza at 12:00 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: News


Still safe, rather, the *nightlife* has never really been that safe to begin with downtown. Lombard is routinely shut down on weekends as a result of some stabbing, fist fight or what have you spilling out of the then Iguana Cantina or any number of failed hip hop clubs. I don't see any of that changing for the better so long as the types of establishments fostering that kind of crowd remain in business (as many of them don't, it would seem)

Downtime Baltimore has a nightlife scene? I sure hope you aren't referring to Power Plant!

anyone hanging out by the block late at night is rolling the dice, that certainly isn't what I consider to be a part of baltimore's bar scene.

"Is downtown nightlife still safe?"

what a titillating headline.

It's pathetic when the police are too busy giving out tickets to police what's at their own back door. I almost never go to that area. Most local people don't. It's a no-man's-land. A bunch of rif-raf, no-face people acting like they're unaccountable for their own behaviour. With attitudes like that, no-one is safe.
Really, the Baltimore nightlife scene (what exists), is based upon neighborhoods. The Marketplace area is not a neighborhood. Without the neighborhood mentality, there is no accountability. As a result, nightlife in that area has never been sustainable in the 20+ yrs I've been here.
Unless, the City Council gets it together and decides to upgrade security in the area, obviously, the club owners have no choice but to decide, with their accountants, whether to foot the bill for increased security or close their doors. Is there enough transient business to remain profitable? I doubt it.
Most of us locals, who regularly spend our money in local establishments, know better than to go where we are not safe, so businesses in that area can't count on much revenue from the likes of me. I have been there only once this year. I am planning to go there tomorrow night for the George Clinton show at Ram's Head, and yes, I'm scared.

This is the most inane analysis of news, maybe, I've ever seen. What, besides being in somewhat close proximity to the seediest, most low-life block of stripclubs in the city, and having happened after dark (which do any of these incidents have to do with night life? Were any of these people out at bars? Was cop who got injured at a club? Why is this post not titled, "Is downtown still safe?" beyond the fact that such a post would also be inane because downtown was never all that safe.

I have never had a problem, especially around The Block, since it is swarming with police.

Don't be scared nan-sea. I'll deflect any bullets or blades.

Most of the people who go out in those areas are from the suburbs, so it's reasonable to assume they'll be scared off and decide it's better to remain at the strip-mall locales that are closer to them. Otherwise, most city dwellers will continue to ignore the area, and go out in the areas that have always been the go-to nightlife scenes, anyway.

Nightlife? HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

I don't know about downtown, but some of the county spots are looking dangerous. Dietrich's Tavern had it's annual shooting on Friday. In the city, too many noise violations will get you shut down. I wonder what it takes in the county?

BTW, buy my iCore Cruncher.

The recent shootings are not out of line with historical statistics. I don't that most of the violence down there involves all that many incidents where the victim didn't know the perpetrator, or where it didn't start in the club before hand.

This is a big f*ckin joke! If the city cant contain crime a block away from the police station and city hall then we are in a heap of trouble!!! There is rampant drug dealing and prostitution right around the corner from headquarters! I agree with one of the other posts, you can get a parking ticket faster than you can get protection! If these criminals don't value a cops life, then what chance do we as regular citizens have!! "0"

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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