Seattle police say the Citrus nightclub in South Lake Union is an unruly crime magnate and are fighting to block efforts by the manager to take over another U District club that also has been plagued with "assaults, thefts and shootings."
As Seattle PI.com reports, Citrus, located on Fairview Avenue, has been cited as a chronic nuisance and are seeking to stop the manger from operating the Fusion Ultra Lounge, at 722 N.E. 45th St., across from the historic Blue Moon Tavern. Earlier this year, after the manager submitted his application, the city sent letters objecting the liquor license to the State Liquor Control Board.
"As patrons leave [Fusion], assaults, thefts, and shootings have become common in the street and parking lot," North Precinct community police team Officer Loren Street wrote to the liquor board. "Currently, there is no other club in the North Precinct that demands the resources of the Police Department like Fusion.
In July, a brawl involving 30 people erupted at Fusion. One man was dragged into a nearby garage and beaten unconscious, department spokesman Jonah Spagenthal-Lee said in a statement. Police said that man also had several facial fractures in the attack and, according to the PI report, that Fusion security didn't provide much useful information even though the incident began in the club.
"Representatives from the Seattle Police Department and City Attorney's Office have already met with the Citrus's management - also affiliated with another North Seattle nightclub, Fusion - twice over the last year to discuss crime problems at the club," Kimberly Mills, a spokeswoman for City Attorney Pete Holmes, said in a statement. "But those problems persist."
According to Holmes' office, police were called to the club 55 times between Jan. 1, 2012 and Jan. 23, 2013. In one Jan. 2012 incident, police said a man who tried to break up a fight among roughly a dozen people outside the club was Tased by one of the brawlers.
Writes the PI:
Seattle's chronic nuisance property law was passed in 2009, largely because of the work of current Municipal Court Judge Ed McKenna, who was then an assistant city attorney. McKenna showed that the previous law was toothless, and designed the nuisance property law to address motels on Aurora Avenue North that were a constant problem for police - and four of those five are now closed after the owners and corporations were charged with tax violations.
The city also has used the chronic nuisance property law to force closures of The Rose Garden in Lake City and Angie's Tavern in Columbia City, which were disproportionately drawing police resources as centers for criminal activity, police documents showed.