Tough Doors: The Most Dangerous Place in Nightlife

By GamalHennessy

Two of the majorstories floating around the nightlife press this week revolve around safety. Onone hand, NYNA and the NYPD have released the second edition of the NightlifeBest Practices. This new set of guidelines are designed to help operatorswork with police to protect us from threats ranging from sexual assaults toterrorist threats. At the same time news came out that a man named ChristopherAdames was stabbed and killed just outside of the popular Juliet Supperclub.While details about the latest crime have not fully been revealed, thisincident fits a pattern that is fairly specific to nightlife. History suggeststhat serious violence is much more likely to occur in the immediate areaoutside a venue as opposed to inside the venue itself.

There have been a numberof events over the past 20+ years that support this theory.  
  • ·        In1989, Virgil Sylvia was killedoutside Payday.
  • ·        In1990 David Lemus and Olmedo Hidalgo shot bouncer Marcus Peterson outside The Palladium.
  • ·        In2001, Terrence Davis was stabbedto death outside Tunnel.
  • ·        In2003, a bouncer named Dana Blakewas stabbed to death outside Guernicaby Isaias Umali.
  • ·        In2006, bouncer Stephen Sakai shotGustavo Cuadros outside Opus 22.
  • ·        Imette St. Guillen and JenniferMoore were both killed in 2006 in separate incidents after leaving The Falls and Guest House clubs.
  • ·        Aserialrapist was allegedly targeting isolated women as they left The Box in 2007.
  • ·        LauraGarza disappeared after leaving Marquee with a mannamed Michael Mele in the last month of 2008.
  • ·        In2009, MarioOlmedo slashed several people outside Deco.

While the years and weapons usedand number of victims are different, one constant thread remains. Each attacktook place outside the venue.

The reasons behind this phenomenon aren’t hard to understandif you consider the mentality of the attackers. From a psychologicalstandpoint, there is a higher chance that the ego and self-esteem of fanaticsis lower at the door. There could be several triggers for their distress. Maybethey can’t get in. Maybe they just got kicked out. Maybe some woman rejectedthem. Maybe they spent more money than they had. Whatever the cause, the endresult is the same. Their self-respect has been lowered and their temper hasbeen raised. They lash out, either the operators, patrons or random passers-by asa way to regain their sense of power and control.

This isn’t a justification for fanatic behavior. It is also nota suggestion that nightlife is inherently dangerous. In the last twenty years,there have been an infinitesimal number of fatalities compared to the 30,000people that nightlife employs and the one billion entries that patrons have innightlife every year. The only thing I’m attempting to point out is that amajor location of potential nightlife violence is just outside the venueitself. That is one of the reasons security is stationed at the door. When yougo out, it’s a good idea to get through the door (in or out) as quickly aspossible. Give the operators at the door a chance to do their job and give yourselfa chance to get out of harm’s way in the unlikely event that a problem arises.

Have fun.