EXCLUSIVE: Shooter in Federal Hill’s Vault Lounge Incident Claimed to be Gang Member
Sunday, July 03, 2016
Following a Providence Board of Licenses meeting on Monday, June 27, at which the board voted to reopen The Vault after it was closed for five days following the shooting, the City Solicitor's office on Thursday recommended the case be reopened next week, "in light of new information."
"I asked why are you moving to re-open it? I'm concerned that there's new information now," said Board of Licenses member Johanna Harris. "So is it dangerous to have had the place reopened? The [city solicitor's office] said no, [the information] just goes to the way they were running the club. But clearly the way they were running it creates the danger."
Latest Vault Development
The Vault Lounge has been subject to repeated episodes of violence. The Vault is located in a building owned by the Cicilline Family.
Historically, clubs tied to gang activity have been dealt with severely by City officials.
The document obtained by GoLocal shows a portion of a police report titled, "Detective Silva Supplement," which states, "Detective Silva also spoke with bar security Jose Ortiz, Jr. ...It should be noted that the subject (the shooter) was yelling to Ortiz that he was from Fall River, MA and he was a Crypt gang member."
It is unclear if the "Crypt" gang was a typo. Massachusetts State Police and Federal authorities have repeatedly identified "Crips" as a significant gang operating in Fall River.
Moreover, it is unknown how this information was omitted from being presented publicly at Providence Board of Licenses - the City entity that regulated liquor licenses and club operations.
Efforts to get clarification from City of Providence's Assistant City Solicitor Mario Martone have been unsuccessful. He has refused to return phone calls.
Moreover, a police report requested by GoLocal for the night of the shooting at 387 Atwells Avenue yielded only the initial phone call into dispatch; the actual report obtained by GoLocal was deemed to be at "Atwells and Vinton Avenue," which is not where the shooting took place but across the street.
Serious questions are being raised about how this specific club -- The Vault Lounge -- is being dealt with.
Monday the Board of Licenses Voted to Reopen the Club Over Police Objections
As GoLocal reported last week, "The Providence Board of Licenses voted on Monday to reopen The Vault, a week after a shooting outside the Federal Hill club -- which is located in a building that until recently was owned by Congressman David Cicilline, and is currently owned by his brother, convicted felon John Cicilline.
The shooting occurred early Tuesday morning last week, just days before Rep. Cicilline joined a group of Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives floor to stage a sit-in in support of gun control.
The Board of Licenses shut down the The Vault for five days following the incident in the early morning on June. Assistant City Solicitor Mario Martone recommended on Monday that the club remain closed for ten days, incur a fine, and be made to provide police detail moving forward.
The move by Martone came following video footage of the incident from security cameras across the street on Atwells Avenue, as well as testimony by Sgt. David Tejada on the incident broaching greater public safety issues associated with the club.
"People who are behaving appropriately are not removed by security with their arms around their necks," said Martone, following the footage of the hours leading up to the shooting being shown at the Board of Licenses Monday, which showed the shooter waiting outside the club after he had been removed by bouncers. "The board has on numerous occasions said if there's an issue, call the police - let the police let you take care of the issue."
Cicilline ally and Board of Licenses Chair Senator Juan Pichardo motioned to re-open the club immediately however -- with detail on weekends and holidays -- which was approved by the board, with the exception of Board member Johanna Harris, who was the lone dissenter.
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