Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of JD’s Sports Bar and Lounge at 360 Route 211 E in the Middletown today. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a special meeting of the Full Board on Thursday May 24th . Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.
The summary suspension is based on reports from the Town of Wallkill Police Department (WPD) and the New York State Police (NYSP) that on two separate occasions on April 15th and April 22nd, fights broke out at JD’s Sports bar, which subsequently led to a stabbing and a shooting.
On April 15th Wallkill Police responded to Orange Regional Medical Center for a report of an assault victim being treated for a stab wound. Based on reports earlier that evening, WPD officers responded to JD’s Sports Bar and discovered multiple spots of dried blood directly in front of the premises. Police also report the bar’s staff failed to notify authorities of the stabbing incident.
The New York State Police report that on April 22nd a verbal argument beginning inside JD’s led to bouncers clearing patrons out onto the parking lot, where the argument escalated into multiple melees, culminating with one patron shooting another multiple times. The victim was transported to Orange Regional Medical Center. Police report that two bouncers and a manager present during the shooting again failed to notify authorities of the incident.
On May 4th, the SLA, WPD, NYSP and the Town of Wallkill Building Inspector conducted a joint inspection of the premises. The inspector documented two fire code violations, while SLA investigators documented employees being paid off the books, unlicensed bouncers, and alcohol purchased from an area liquor store. A subsequent investigation revealed the owner, who now resides outside of the state, turned the operation over to a manager to run the day to day operations.
On May 16th, the SLA charged the JD’s Sports Bar with twelve violations, including two charges for disorderly premises for the stabbing and shooting, failure to exercise supervision, unlicensed bouncers, paying employees off the books, sustained pattern of noise, and for becoming a focal point for police attention.
“The violent nature and escalating volume of the incidents occurring as JD’s, coupled with the absentee owner and his staff’s failure to supervise or even notify police regarding multiple serious assaults, clearly demonstrates this bar is a serious threat to public safety,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “I applaud the hard work of the Town of Wallkill and New York State Police for assisting our agency in shutting down this nuisance bar down before it spirals further out of control.”
The State Administrative Procedure Act authorizes a State agency to summarily suspend a license when the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. When the SLA summarily suspends a license, it also serves a Notice of Pleading alleging one or more disciplinary violations. In invoking a summary suspension, the SLA has deemed the violation to be sufficiently serious upon initial review to warrant an immediate suspension. The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case. The licensee is entitled to an expedited administrative law hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the SLA or a reviewing Court.