At about 11:40pm, on Friday, December 31, 2010, officers and detectives from Area D-4 (South End) responded to 306 Stuart Street (Rise Club) for a dangerously large crowd and line extending the entire length of Stuart Street to the intersection of Arlington and Columbus Streets. Officers soon learned that the people in line were waiting and attempting to gain entry into an establishment called the Rise Club. Officers also observed a series of barriers that had, without consent or proper permission, been set up on the sidewalk creating an unsafe situation for pedestrians seeking to use it. Given the presence of the barriers, as well as the recent snow fall, the sidewalk, from what officers could determine, was deemed both unsafe and impassable. In an effort to remedy the unsafe conditions found on the sidewalk, officers and detectives entered the establishment to speak to employees of the Rise Club. Officers spoke to employees of the club who stated that the barriers belonged to them and they had, in fact without proper permits or permission, placed the barriers on the sidewalk in an effort to corral and control the line going into their establishment.
Upon entering the establishment, detectives promptly noted that the club appeared to be dangerously overcrowded. Of greatest concern was the potential for harm in the event of a fire emergency. Given the fact that the establishment was clearly overcrowded, it was determined that the chance of safely evacuating such a location in the event of a fire emergency would be severely hampered and hindered. Officers estimated a crowd in excess of approximately 800 patrons. Detectives later learned that the club was permitted for no more than 292 patrons. In an effort to safely evacuate and disperse the large crowd, additional units, as well as the Boston Fire Department, were called to the scene.
As officers attempted to disperse the crowd, the club was asked to shut the music off. However, instead of complying with the officer’s legal instructions, the DJ continued to play music. The music continued on for several minutes until an officer was forced to approach the DJ and repeat and reiterate the instruction.
While inside the club, detectives observed upwards of fifty patrons who were underage and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, officers observed several nip bottles of alcohol strewn throughout the club. A check of the club’s permits showed a Boston Fire Department Permit and an Inspectional Certificate both to be expired. Consequently, the Fire Permit was seized on the scene.
In addition to the above, Boston Fire officials, while inspecting the location, observed several fire hazards including exposed wires, exposed outlets and flammable decorations hanging from ceilings throughout the club.
All in all, it took emergency personnel approximately one hour to safely evacuate the club.
The owners of the Rise Club will be charged with violating the conditions of the fire permit. The incident will be further investigated by Boston Police detectives in conjunction with the Boston Fire Department.
When detectives spoke to the owners of the club, the club owners verbally disrespected and disparaged the detectives. One owner stated, “I will have your job by Monday.”