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Police Knew About Issues at Club Where Man Was Killed and Didn't Warn SLA

By Gwynne Hogan | March 24, 2017 2:14pm | Updated on March 27, 2017 9:43am
 The State Liquor Authority ordered an emergency suspension of Brooklyn Asylum's liquor license.
The State Liquor Authority ordered an emergency suspension of Brooklyn Asylum's liquor license.
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Shutterstock/Katrina Brown

EAST WILLIAMSBURG — Police knew about criminal activity and unruly behavior at a club where a Bronx coke dealer was fatally shot for at least six months, but didn't warn the State Liquor Authority — though they are required to under the law, officials said.

Jamsee Virk, 73, and Michael Laboy, 39, the owners of Brooklyn Asylum, were arrested in August 2016 and charged with operating an unlicensed bottle club, illegal alcohol sale, operating an after hours club, criminal nuisance and unlawful misconduct, police confirmed. 

But news of the arrests never made their way to the State Liquor Authority, which granted a liquor license to the bar at 1269 Flushing Ave. a month before, according to SLA records. Police didn't inform SLA about the arrests because they thought the club was operating illegally and therefore not under SLA's jurisdiction.

"The [90th] Precinct did not previously report [Alcoholic Beverage Control] Law violations to the SLA because the precinct believed that the establishment was unlicensed," an SLA report released this week reads.

The club remained open on March 19, 2017 when convicted drug dealer Jefferson Exantus, 22, of The Bronx, got into an argument in front and was fatally shot in the face at 5:15 a.m.

Following the shooting, police finally referred the issues to the SLA, which ordered an emergency suspension of the club's permit Wednesday.

"This bar has been a haven for violence, a drain on police resources, and a menace to Brooklyn residents since opening,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley.

The state hit the club with more than a dozen violations for operating a disorderly bar, assault, lying under oath to an SLA investigator, inadequate supervision, having unregistered bouncers and for running an after-hours club, according to the SLA.

The shooter hadn't been arrested as of Thursday afternoon, police confirmed.

NYPD officials didn't respond to a request for further comment immediately.