Liquor board closes club in NE Baltimore after March shooting

Club Uzo had been site of triple shooting in March

April 08, 2010|By Brent Jones | | Baltimore Sun reporter

The city liquor board on Thursday ordered the owner of a Northeast Baltimore club where a triple shooting occurred last month to sell his liquor license, a ruling that drew cheers from about a dozen residents.

Vincent Arosemena, the licensee and property owner of Club Uzo, in the 4800 block of Belair Road, has agreed to turn the license over to Regal Bank and Trust. The licensee was additionally fined $2,500 for a variety of violations, including the March 18 shooting that shook the Gardenville neighborhood, along with a series of fights in November inside and outside the bar.

Arosemena had agreed to sign over the license to the bank before the hearing. He did not protest any of the charges. The bank is expected to take over the license on Tuesday and sell in the coming months.

The club was also fined for allowing after-hours drinking in December and January, remaining open after 2 a.m. on at least two other occasions and crowd control violations.

"There has got to be some consequences," liquor board chairman Stephan Fogleman said.

Police began padlock proceedings for Club Uzo after the shooting, citing multiple incidents of violence. The club is just a few blocks from Club 410, which was padlocked by city police last year and whose manager was indicted federally on charges that she was part of a gang conspiracy.

Club Uzo, according to several Gardenville residents who testified at the hearing, has been a haven for violence since last year, and they fear more of the same if the property is allowed to remain a bar. They asked bank representatives to sell the license to someone who would turn the place into an upscale restaurant that sells alcohol.

On the night of the shooting, an officer on patrol heard the gunshots coming from the club about 12:30 a.m. He and other officers went inside and found a 20-year-old man who had been shot once in the leg. A second victim, a 30-year-old man, was found on Belair Road, just outside the bar's front entrance, also suffering from a gunshot to the leg.

The third victim, 23, managed to get out of the bar on his own and was taken by a friend to Hopkins. Police said he had been shot twice in the legs and was in critical condition.

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