From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Nightclub can still serve alcohol: Judge: City failed to prove link between Cotton Club, violence

[February 02, 2008]

Nightclub can still serve alcohol: Judge: City failed to prove link between Cotton Club, violence

(Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Feb. 2--A Richmond circuit judge refused last night to halt alcohol sales at a downtown nightclub linked to a series of shootings and other violence.

Using a state law that took effect last year, the city requested a temporary injunction to prohibit alcohol sales at the Cotton Club, which operates as part of Manhattans Restaurant at 112 N. Fifth St.

An injunction would have forced an investigation and hearing before the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on whether to revoke the club's license.

But after a four-hour emergency hearing, Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. agreed with Brent A. Jackson, an attorney for the club, that the city failed to prove a sufficient link between the violence and business.

Nightclub operator Nathaniel Dance III told reporters last night that he's committed to working with police to make safety improvements.

According to police, seven people have been shot, stabbed or beaten in or near the club during the past eight months.

None of the injuries was fatal, but a victim from a shooting early Sunday remains hospitalized, according to police.

City police said they weren't trying to shut down the 5-year-old business, only to get Dance to make safety improvements.

"It is not the department's intent to stifle nightlife in the downtown area," the department said in a statement last night. "The department believes that a healthy -- and safe -- entertainment district is a strong component of public safety and downtown revitalization."

Hughes determined that testimony provided by several police officers linked only one incident to the club.

In testimony, Sgt. Michael Talley described working as an off-duty officer outside Manhattans in October, when he responded to a man who had suffered a deep cut to his neck from a bottle. A trail of blood led from the sidewalk to an upstairs dance floor, Talley said.

Jackson, Dance's attorney, said Dance cooperated with police after that incident and has been operating with safety in mind, hiring off-duty police as well as private security, banning disruptive patrons from the premises and checking guests for drugs and weapons.

Fourth Precinct Commander John Hall said last night that he was disappointed with the judge's decision. "We want improvements. If [Dance] meets us, improvements can occur."

Hall, who oversees policing in the downtown area, testified that because of the violence at or near the Cotton Club he is revamping officer schedules to provide additional support on weekend nights.

Dance said that the Cotton Club would be closed for the time being but that the downstairs restaurant and lounge would remain open. Asked whether he believes the perpetrators of the recent violence were his customers, Dance said he does not know.

"I'm a victim, too," he said. "I'm here defending [myself against] someone else's actions."

Dance said he's concerned about the violence, and he praised city police officers. He said he hopes to meet with them next week to discuss ways to improve safety, perhaps by adding more outside lighting and security personnel.

"My client does not want to have a nightclub that the public will be fearful in attending," Jackson said.

The case attracted the attention of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, as well as a few residents and business owners.

Terry O'Neill, owner of nearby Penny Lane Pub, said "Fridays and Saturdays are a nightmare" because of the crowds drawn to Manhattans. O'Neill said he has no doubt there is a connection between the violence and the club.

"All you have to do is close it down for 12 months and see if seven people get hurt," he said.

Contact Will Jones at (804) 649-6911 or

To see more of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2008, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner

Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.